Panchayat poll to be free and fair: CM

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Kolkata, May 9 (UNI) West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today exuded confidence that the Left Front would emerge victorious in the coming Panchayat poll in the state which would be held in a free and fair manner.

Addressing a meet-the-press programme here, the Chief Minister admitted that there was some law and order problem in Nandigram recently, but no reports of violence were coming from the place during the last three or four days.

''In the last year, the situation in Nandigram was really bad, but it had been improved and a radical change is being noticed signalling faith in the democratic process,'' Mr Bhattacharjee observed.

Referring to the three-phase election begining May 11, he said it was the prerogative of the State Election Commission to decide on the dates and period of a poll.

''The Commission had given the proposal of conducting the poll in three phases taking into account deployment of security forces required from outside the state and we had supported it,'' Mr Bhattacharjee maintained.

He claimed that the Front had achieved all-out success in the three-tier Panchayat system namely agriculture, rural development and human resources.

UNI AKM-ADG DPM PK HS1553

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