Opposition claims being prevented from filing nominations
Kolkata: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday cited figures to suggest claims of Opposition candidates being prevented from filing nominations for the rural polls were exaggerated.
Until now, 11 per cent uncontested seats - a "feat" achieved during the Left regime in 2003 - had been the highest for a rural poll in Bengal. Some political scientists feel that the quantum of uncontested seats - which means where the ruling party has won even before a single vote has been cast - will be around 30 per cent this time.
"The major Opposition parties have filed 74,000 nominations in 58,000 seats. If Independents and others are considered, the total number would reach 90,000. How can they say that they are being prevented from filing nominations?" Mamata asked.
But a Calcutta-based political scientist said: "She has given the total number of nominations, but not the number of seats where the Opposition could file nominations.... In some areas, the Opposition parties filed nominations together and that's why the count may look impressive.
Mamata also swatted away the Opposition charge that violence led by the ruling party had resulted in a "breakdown of democracy".
According to her, the BJP organised people from Dumka in Jharkhand to create problems in Mohammedbazar in Birbhum while the trouble in Nalhati, also in the same district, was fabricated.