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Central forces not needed for panchayat polls: W Bengal govt

West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress government on Sunday defended its decision to conduct the upcoming rural body polls without the services of central security forces, saying the conditions did not warrant it and it was a wasteful expenditure.

‘The law and order situation of the state does not warrant deployment of central paramilitary forces for the panchayat polls. Moreover, spending Rs 400 crore for using their services is not desirable,’ said state panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee. Mukherjee also said the government, which has been on a collision course against the State Election Commission (SEC) over the scheduling of the panchayat polls, was ready for a legal battle with the poll panel.

‘It’s now up to the Commission. if they want to take legal recourse we are ready for that. Everybody in the country has the freedom to seek legal aid,’ said Mukherjee. The Bengal government on Friday announced that the two-phased election would be held on 26 and 30 April with the state police providing security.
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