CPM lodged an official complaint with the Election Commission (EC) yesterday alleging that coal smugglers in Asansol and Durgapur had been given a free hand by the Trinamool Congress in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. The CPM also accused police of not taking any action against these coal mafias who are now smuggling coal at their will without any interference.
Sources within CPM says that it is an effort by the ruling TMC government to “rig” the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll by using the “muscle power” of the coal mafias active in the Asansol-Durgapur belt.
Trinamool Congress denied the charge and claimed that coal smuggling had been stopped after it came to power. The police said they had arrested 56 pilferers since March.
Smuggling of coal has been one of the biggest areas of concern for the administration of Durgapur-Raniganj-Asansol belt. Indiscriminate mining by coal pilferers not only causes huge loss of revenue for the Eastern Coalfields but also is responsible for subsidence in the Asansol-Durgapur belt.
One may recall that Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee during her visit to Durgapur last year has asked the police to conduct regular raids to check coal smuggling. She said: “I have taken initiatives to stop coal smuggling and set up a police Commissionerate. But I have information that coal smuggling is still continuing.”
With run up to the Lok Sabha poll, CPM now fears that the TMC will try to rig the poll as the CPM leaders of the region feels, that the TMC are very well aware about their eroding support base and will go all out by adapting fear tactics to win the poll. The CPM are highly hopeful of retaining at least two of the three Lok Sabha seat in the district if the voters are given a fair chance to cast their own votes.