Kolkata, Mar 10 : The state opposition parties on Sunday welcomed the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal and said it reflects the "deteriorating" law and order situation in the state.
Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal will begin on April 11 and polling would be held over seven phases through May 19, followed by counting of votes for all seats on May 23, the Election Commission announced on Sunday.
"The seven-phase election reflects the law and order situation in the state... how people were stopped from exercising their democratic rights," CPI(M) politburo member Mohammed Salim said, referring to the violence that took place during the panchayat polls in the state last year.
"We hope that the polling will be held in a free and fair manner and the EC will be impartial, proactive and responsive," Salim said.
The state units of BJP and the Congress too welcomed the Lok Sabha polls. "It shows the kind of law and order now prevailing in West Bengal," BJP leader Mukul Roy said.
West Bengal Congress president Somen Mitra also echoed the views of the CPI(M) and the BJP.
Senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim said the party is not "bothered" about the seven-phase polls.
"However, such a long duration would put a lot of pressure on the people, as the dates coincide with the month of Ramzan and the summer season," said Hakim, also the Mayor of Kolkata.
nternational attention elections in J&K attract, I never thought PM Modi would be willing to confess his failure on a global stage but we all make mistakes and that was mine."
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti too slammed the EC's decision to not hold assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir along with Lok Sabha polls.
"Decision to hold only Parliamentary elections in J&K confirms sinister designs of GoI. Not letting people elect a government is antithetical to the very idea of democracy. Also a tactic of buying time to disempower people by pushing an agenda that suits their ulterior motives," Mufti tweeted.
Abdullah also trained his guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his handling of Jammu and Kashmir.
"Balakote & Uri are not symbols of PM Modi's handling of national security, J&K is and look at the mess he has made there. The abject surrender to anti-India forces is a crying shame," he tweeted.
Arora last week had visited Jammu and Kashmir to take stock of the state's poll readiness.