Bengal govt asks SEC to notify rural poll

Expressing displeasure at the state election commission’s failure to issue notification for the panchayat poll, the West Bengal government on Tuesday asked the poll panel to immediately do so, failing which it would ask for the reason.

The state industries minister, Partha Chatterjee, told reporters that the SEC in an all-party meeting on 18 May had promised to issue the notification within seven days, but it had not yet done so.

‘At the all-party meeting, they (SEC) had said that notification for the panchayat poll would be issued within seven days. Let them do so. We want early elections,’ the minister said.

The SEC yesterday said it might issue notification for the poll by this week.

‘We will go by the order of the court. Let us bring out our notification first, probably by this week,’ state election commissioner Mira Pandey told reporters on Monday. Expressing confidence that the opposition parties would suffer a drubbing at the hands of Trinamool Congress in the crucial rural polls, Chatterjee rubbished the Opposition charge that the TMC did not want a ‘free and fair’ panchayat election.

Last week the government, in a notification on Friday, had announced that the panchayat elections in 17 districts would be held in three phases — on 2 , 6 and 10 July. However, the state election commission has sought a revision in the schedule of rural polls. 


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