Muscle Power On Full Display In BengalWhat happened in West Bengal on the day panchayat elections were held was an open display of how muscle power dominates politics in the state. It also proved that the TMC has been a good student and has learnt everything the CPM had to teach. In fact, the party has refined and modified all the dirty tricks of the CPM and made them infinitely more deadly. The CPM ruled the state with an iron hand for 37 years and claimed to have the support of the people. Yet it indulged in every illegal trick to win elections. The TMC is doing the same.
The party claims that there is no opposition in the state and the people are solidly behind it. Still, it prevented opposition candidates from filing nominations by letting its goons loose on them. Even 75-year old and nine-time MP Basudeb Acharia was not spared. Before that, another CPM leader, former MP Ram Chandra Dome, was attacked. It created such an atmosphere of fear that it won 34% of the panchayat seats uncontested. This fact came under the glare of the Supreme Court which found it strange. Without directly saying it was wrong, the court said that elections should be free and fair.
But on polling day, all limits were crossed. Over 19 people were killed and a couple was burnt alive. The CPM claims that their hut was torched after they did not heed the TMC warning to stay away. The husband was a poll agent of the CPM. The police and the TMC claim that the hut caught fire due to a short circuit. Another young man, a TMC supporter, was lynched by a mob on suspicion of booth capturing. People with guns, rifles and sticks roamed the countryside with impunity to complete the picture of jungle raj. It proved that with minimum security forces, it was wrong to hold the elections on a single day. If Ramzan was the problem, the elections could have been held after Eid. But such was the urgency to push through the agenda that peoples lives did not matter.
There is no doubt that the TMC will win more than 90% of the seats. If, after what was done, it manages anything less than that, it should consider it as a defeat. But this victory will be a victory of muscle power in what were decidedly not free and fair elections. There is still a little matter of the Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court, both of whom are keeping a hawks eye on the matter due to the plethora of cases filed by the BJP and the CPM. The final say will be with the courts and more petitions are not ruled out.
pic courtesy: zeenews