A day after she was allegedly abducted in broad daylight by Trinamool Congress (TMC) cadres near her home in the Sagardighi block of Murshidabad district, Hasina Begam is yet to get over the trauma. Ever since she filed her nomination as a zilla parishad (district council) candidate of the CPI (M), she was allegedly being threatened by ruling party cadres. Saturday was the last date for withdrawal of nominations for the panchayat polls to be held on May 14.“Police at the behest of TMC leaders arrested my husband from our house,” Ms. Begam told The Hindu. After hearing this news, she was rushing back to her home, when a vehicle stopped beside her and some men allegedly dragged her in. “They were TMC cadres. They took me to the Sub-Divisional Officer’s (SDO) office and forced me to withdraw my nomination. I had no choice as the lives of my family members were at stake,” she said. The family members of another CPI (M) candidate in Sagardighi, Smita Dalui, who was also allegedly abducted by Trinamool cadres from her residence on Saturday, refused to speak fearing repercussions from them. “Kindly spare us and let us live in peace,” said her husband. They are just two among the scores of Opposition party candidates in several districts of Bengal, who were forced to withdraw their nominations for the panchayat polls, following alleged assault and abduction by Trinamool cadres. However, most of these candidates are unwilling to speak to the media fearing repercussions. The CPI (M) district leadership in Murshidabad alleged that 311 candidates in the gram panchayat, panchayat samiti and zilla parishad were forced to withdraw their nominations. In South 24 Paraganas, the party leadership alleged that three of their panchayat samiti candidates in Baruipur’s Ramnagar I panchayat samiti, were abducted and assaulted by Trinamool cadres, who forced them to withdraw nominations. A similar incident took place at Bhangar, where relatives of a CPI (M) zilla parishad candidate were kidnapped by Trinamool workers on Friday, forcing him to withdraw his nomination. “In the Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat, there are no Opposition party candidates in 1,000 gram panchayats, 196 panchayat samitis and 20 zilla parishads. This speaks volumes about TMC’s terror tactics,” CPI (M) district secretary in South 24 Paraganas Samik Lahiri said. However, the party leadership was unable to provide any State-wide figure regarding withdrawal of nominations. “We will get the State- wide figure tomorrow [Monday]” CPI(M) State secretariat member Rabin Deb said. State Congress alleged that in the districts of Purba and Paschim Medinipur, South and North 24 Paraganas and Murshidabad, scores of Congress candidates were forced to withdraw nominations due to the terror tactics of the Trinamool. “TMC cadres are making a mockery of democracy in the State. If such a situation continues, the Panchayat polls will be reduced to a farce,” State Congress vice- president Debabrata Basu said. State BJP vice-president Sayantan Basu alleged that about 250 of their candidates were forced to withdraw their nominations following threats from the ruling party. Trinamool reacts Denying the allegations, Trinamool secretary-general and State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said that “the CPI (M) is making contradictory statements.”“First they alleged that they were not allowed to file nominations, and now they are saying that they are being forced to withdraw nominations. The fact is that the CPI (M) is afraid to take part in the polls and hence is making such baseless allegations,” Mr. Chatterjee told The Hindu.
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMomentum may be on the side of Pocari Sweat at this point in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference, but coach Rico de Guzman feels the three-time champion still needs a major adjustment.“The players are having difficulty adjusting because they are so focused on their offense,” said De Guzman. A lot of that offense has been shouldered by Myla Pablo, who has been averaging 20 points in the Lady Warriors’ first two games.ADVERTISEMENT Pocari Sweat tries out its defense when it tests the Power Smashers at 6:30 p.m. at Filoil Flying V Centre.“We struggled to win those two games, that’s why we want to preserve this momentum,” said Pablo.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsBaliPure tries to bounce back from a stinging loss to idle co-leader Creamline when it faces University of the Philippines in the other women’s match at 4 p.m.Meanwhile, in the men’s division, Cignal and Sta. Elena clash at 10 a.m. while Café Lupe and Instituto Estetico Manila collide at 1 p.m. in a duel of winless teams. Before living up to darkhorse tag, Pirates must ‘win in classroom,’ says coach Topex Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend View comments Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Nikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
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