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    Anti-Marxist forces ganging up against CPI(M): Karat

    Kolkata (PTI): With the party's stakes high in the next month's panchayat elections in West Bengal, the CPI(M) on Tuesday said 'anti-Marxist forces' were ganging up to thwart it and the Left Front to retain control in the zilla parishads and the panchayats.

    "The Polit Bureau heard a report on the forthcoming panchayat elections in West Bengal. All anti-Marxist forces are combining in a mahajot (grand alliance) to fight the Left Front," Karat told reporters after a Polit Bureau meeting.

    His comment came in the backdrop of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, BJP and other opposition forces in the state striking ground-level adjustments in several districts for the three-tier panchayat polls, though Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee was against a tie-up with Congress or the BJP.

    The CPI(M) has already alleged that the Trinamool Congress had links with Maoists in Bankura, Purulia, West Midnapur and Birbhum districts.

    He said the Politburo strongly condemned the killings of CPI(M) cadre, and activists by Maoists.

    "What is most disturbing in the panchayat election campaign is that the self-styled Maoists have now started killing important cadres and activists," he said, adding that 13 had been killed this year.

    With Lok Sabha elections scheduled next year, the panchayat elections are crucial in the Left-ruled state where the Marxists dominate most of the zilla parishads and gram panchayats and panchayat samities with a stronghold in the countryside.



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