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Panchayat polls: Nominations complete, no fresh poll dates yet

Kolkata: The filing of fresh nominations for the Panchayat elections in Bengal happened on Monday amid allegations of sporadic violence in the state with the death of a Trinamool Congress supporter from Suri in Birbhum district. However, the State Election Commission (SEC) did not make any announcement regarding the fresh schedule of the polls even on Monday.
Sources in the SEC said that State Election Commissioner A K Singh would first meet all the parties after the completion of the nomination process and then hold a meeting with the state government before announcing the dates. However, there was no such meeting and Section 144 was imposed in front of the Rawdon Street office of the SEC throughout the day.
"We have sought a report from the District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police of districts with complaints of violence from Suri in Birbhum, along with those in Murshidabad, Bankura and South 24-Parganas," a senior SEC official said.
As per sources, the Commissioner, after scrutiny of all these reports will meet the political parties and the state government on Tuesday and may announce the date for polls. The Commission as per directions of Calcutta High Court had to announce a fresh nomination date after the opposition moved the judiciary alleging that they were prevented from filing nominations by the ruling party.
Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee on Monday hit out at the opposition parties and particularly the BJP for trying to push back the Panchayat polls. "They are trying all means to disturb the poll process and curb the democratic rights of the people. The people of Bengal have no faith in them and they are with development done by the Trinamool Congress government. Hence they are indulging in such activities," Chatterjee said.
He further maintained that 10 days have already gone waste in the election process. "The BJP should not think that they are in Uttar Pradesh. Their Hindutva card will have no effect here. Bengal is known for its unity in diversity where people from all religion live amicably. So their attempts at disturbing peace in the state will prove futile. Today, they moved court before the beginning of the nomination process and alleged that the administration and the police are preventing them to file nominations which is a clear indication that they are conspiring to stop the smooth election process," Chatterjee added.
He further launched a scathing attack on BJP state president Dilip Ghosh alleging that he has been using provocative language since the start of the election process.
State Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim alleged that the BJP is bringing in outsiders from Jharkhand and claimed that the saffron party is responsible for the death of Dildar Sheikh who died in Suri on Monday.
CPI(M) state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra urged the masses to protest unitedly against the attack by TMC on the opposition. The opposition again moved the court on Monday alleging violence by the TMC.

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