Millennium Post

‘Central forces not required for panchayat poll’

West Bengal government on Friday told the Calcutta High Court that there was no need for central paramilitary forces for the panchayat elections in the state where situation was peaceful and law and order better than several other states.

In its affidavit in opposition to the State Election Commission’s (SEC) petition as per direction of Justice Biswanath Somadder, the state government submitted that law and order in the state was good and panchayat polls would be held peacefully.

The state said that the Maoist problem in the western districts had also been contained.

The affidavit said that funds needed for 800 companies of central paramilitary forces, as demanded by the SEC, were not available with the state.

It said that ample forces were available with the state government and if needed, police from neighbouring states would be requisitioned.

In its 41-page affidavit, the government said that it has already provided Rs 100 crore for the panchayat elections.

It stated that under Section 42 of West Bengal Panchayat Election Act, the powers of the State Election Commission were very limited and that until the state government declared the dates for election under the section, the SEC had no authority to interfere.    
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