The first phase of panchayat polls in five districts of West Bengal was marred by violence in Nandigram and some other parts of the state all over again. Armed clashes, where bombs and guns were used, between Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) in the aftermath of panchayat poll, forced almost 500 villagers to take shelter near the BDO's office in Nandigram. Both the Trinamool Congress and the CPI(M) charged each other with instigating violence, ransacking houses and kidnapping rival supporters. Even the CRPF accused the ruling Left Front and CPI (M) activists of heavy-handedness. So much so that the union home ministry had to seek a detailed report from the West Bengal government. That was not all. Given the election time, it was not surprising to see chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee targeting Dr Manmohan Singh, who had ranked him as the country’s best Chief Minister as a “failed Prime Minister”. He went on to say: "Unfortunately as the Prime Minister, he is failing to perform. Inflation has hit the country. It is because of his failures that the Congress has been facing the music in several states. The BJP is taking advantage of this.” Later, he is supposed to have spoken to the PM to clear "the misunderstanding". ''I repeat what I have said. I did not try to denigrate the prime minister. I have high respect for him. Unfortunately, he is heading a government which is failing to perform on all fronts,'' Bhattacharya later said. The PM on his part brushed it all off: "This is politics. We are getting nearer to the elections. Therefore, issues are being politicised."