July 21, 2013
Mamata Banerjee speaks on the ongoing Panchayat elections in West Bengal
- The CPIM, Congress, BJP- and even the Court – all preferred a lengthy drawn out 5-phased election. No one listened to our logical and practical suggestion about a one-day poll. The ground reality is that these are local elections, often with micro local issues at stake. These are not Lok Sabha elections and needed to be handled differently.
- The election is being conducted by the State Election Commission, not the Government. Adequate police was provided by the State as per requirements stipulated by the SEC. Still precious lives were lost. Every death is a tragedy, irrespective of the party he or she belongs. A family loses a precious member who can never be replaced.
- I appeal to all of you to maintain peace and exercise polling rights freely. Let the people of this State enjoy the fresh air of democracy which has been missing for decades.
- The Congress, CPI(M) and BJP are hell bent on spreading violence across the State. At places, even the Maoists are trying to disturb the peace. Let the people of Bengal be the final arbiter.
- The first and second and phase of The Panchayat polls were held peacefully. Yes, the third phase did have some incidents. Frankly, in the first three phases elections were held in districts where Trinamool has huge support among the common people However, in the fourth and the fifth phases there are areas (Malda/Murshidabad) where the Congress has a presence. They will deliberately be up to mischief here.
- I feel sorry because the annual programme of Ekushe July (July 21, Shahid Dibosh/Martyr's Day) could not be conducted because of the Panchayat polls. However, the programme will be held on August 21. It seems that the dates of the Panchayat election were chosen intentionally so that we cannot organize our most important annual commemoration.