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Thursday, December 19, 2013
WB govt attacking democratic institutions: Karat
Accusing the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal of "attacking democratic institutions" in the state, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat on Wednesday demanded that violence against his party activists be stopped immediately.
Addressing a meeting of Left parties at Jantar Mantar, in which over 150 elected representatives participated to protest against attacks on Left workers, Karat said,
"The situation in West Bengal is serious. There is outright attack on democratic institutions in the state by the Trinamool Congress government."
Apart from CPI-M, representatives of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Forward Bloc, Workers Party, Socialist Party, Marxist Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) also participated in the protest.
"142 CPI-M activists have been killed since the assembly elections in West Bengal in 2011," Karat claimed, adding that party offices were being captured illegally.
A delegation of Left parties led by the Communist Party of India (Marxists) met President Pranab Mukherjee and submitted their grievance.
"We have demanded that the attacks be stopped immediately and action should be taken against those who have been guilty of attacks. Also, we want free and fair elections in the state as we believe the Panchayat elections were rigged," protestors said.
The protestors claimed that there were attacks on 14 party conferences, while 299 trade union offices, 85 student union offices and 1247 CPI (M) party offices were either attacked or captured. Also, some 4,227 arrests had been made in "false and fabricated cases," the protestors claimed.
Politburo member and secretary of CPI (M) in the state Biman Basu said there was "no democracy left in West Bengal."
"Trinamool Congress does not even allow us to voice our opposition in the Assembly, forget outside," Abani Roy, former MP of the RSP, said.
Senior Left leader and former minister Naren Dey was allegedly attacked by Trinamool Congress workers during a party meeting on December 8 in West Bengal, which had led to All India Forward Bloc alleging that the state's ruling party was "butchering democratic traditions".