Left Front partners join hands with opposition parties to form rural boards

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Kolkata, June 28 : Major Left Front partners have started joining hands with the opposition parties in different districts in Bengal to form gram panchayat boards in order to keep "Big Brother" CPI(M) at bay.

The concerned Front partners include the CPI, the RSP, Forward Bloc(FB) and the West Bengal Socialist party(WBSP).

The Marxists had rightly apprehended that some of the partners would try to help the opposition parties, particularly the Congress and Trinamul Congress(TMC), in panchayat board formation in view of the mutual distrust which came to the surface during the rural polls.

At the Birulia gram panchayat under Nandigram Block 2 TMC could capture the posts of pradhan(president) and upa-pradhan(vice-president) with the help of two RSP members. A CPI panchayat member similarly helped TMC to defeat a CPI(M) candidate in election to the post of pradhan at Aurai gram panchayat under Contai sub-division in East Midnapore district. Even some CPI(M) gram panchayat members helped TMC in occupying the posts of panchayat board chiefs at Patashpur and Contai in the same district.

The WBSP has been instrumental in TMC's capture of Talgari 2 gram panchayat in Sankarpur area of East Midnapore. At Ariapur gram panchayat under Contai sub-division a dissident CPI(M) member voted for a TMC candidate for the pradhan's post. TMC has also captured Harit gram panchayat at Polba block in Hooghly district with FB's support. In fact, FB has helped TMC to form boards in nine gram panchayats under Uluberia Block 1 in Howrah district. In North 24 Parganas a "grand alliance" among TMC, Congress and the BJP has suceeded in thwarting the CPI(M)'s bid to take possession of Kumrokashipur gram panchayat within Habra block.

Similar reports have been pouring in from different parts of north Bengal. For instance, at Dinhata in Cooch Behar district FB has taken the Congress's help to form two gram panchayat boards. In Jalpaiguri the RSP and the CPI have joined hands with the Naxalites and some opposition parties to form the board for Arabinda gram panchayat.

State RSP and FB leaders are blaming the Marxists for the "unfortunate developments." RSP state secretariat member Manoj Bhattacharya has held the CPI(M)'s "arrogance" responsible for disruption in Left Front unity. FB's state secretary Ashok Ghosh, who echoed him, feels lack of unity among the Front partners will help the opposition parties to capture many other gram panchayat and panchayat samiti boards. By Gautam Ghosh

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