Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee today criticised the SEC for failing to conduct free and fair panchayat polls and said democracy has been "murdered" in the state.
"What we have seen on the day of panchayat polls is unprecedented. Is this is a way rural polls are being conducted in the state? Democracy has been brutally murdered in the state," Chatterjee said.
Many people have been killed in the panchayat poll in the state and the administration is busy either hiding the number of casulties or putting the blame on others, he said.
Widespread violence during the single-phase panchayat polls in West Bengal on Monday had left at least 12 people dead and 43 injured.
"The fight should be between ideologies not between political activists. This is really shamefull to witness such things happening in Bengal where people are not allowed to exercise their democratic right," he said.
Somnath Chatterjee is a former CPI(M) leader and MP who was expelled from the party in 2008 for not resigning when the party withdrew its support from the Congress led UPA-1 government over the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Last month during the violence-marred nomination filing for the rural poll, Chatterjee had criticised the state government and the SEC for not being able to provide security.
The TMC leadership had then termed Chatterjee's allegation as baseless.
"Somanth Chatterjee is saying democracy doesn't exist in Bengal. Earlier he had said that democracy doesn't exist in CPI(M). He should first decide which one is right." TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee had then said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)