West Bengal: A CPI(M) And BJP Alliance Emerges At The Grassroots As Violence Escalates In Run-up To Panchayat Polls

West Bengal: A CPI(M) And BJP Alliance Emerges At The Grassroots As Violence Escalates In Run-up To Panchayat PollsA protest rally against TMC violence. (Samir Jana/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

A highly unusual political alliance has emerged at the grassroots in West Bengal, with the CPI(M) and BJP allying to face a highly aggressive Trinamool Congress in the run up to the panchayat polls, Manorama has reported.

The two parties have reportedly reached a political understanding in three districts - Midnapore, Nadia and Birbhum with the parties agreeing not to field candidates in panchayats where the other has a candidate. Both the BJP and CPI(M) have skipped several panchayats where the other has a representative.

Graffiti on walls with the two parties’ symbols - hammer and sickle and the lotus, can also be seen at several places.

The grassroots alliance in Bengal however, has left leaders from both parties red-faced as their cadres are frequently involved in clashes in several other states like Kerala and Tripura. Nationally, the CPI(M) is in the opposition camp and is often critical of the ruling BJP.

The alliance comes in the face of an increasingly violent run-up to the panchayat polls, with the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party being accused of unprecedented level of violence to gain power in the polls. Both the CPI(M) and BJP have accused Trinamool of using violence to keep candidates from other parties from contesting and many deaths have been reported in the state since the polls were announced.

The panchayat polls in the state will be held on 14 May.