Erstwhile Transport Secretary of the West Bengal Government Alapan Bandopadhyay, who took over as the interim state election commissioner of Bengal on Wednesday, said that the commission was not in a position to declare either <g data-gr-id="28">repolling</g> or counting of the civic polls held in various pockets of Bengal on Thursday. The <g data-gr-id="29">erastwhile</g> state election commissioner S R Upadhyay submitted his resignation on Tuesday.
Talking tough in his first media interaction after assuming his new role, Bandopadhyay said the commission would examine the submissions made by Opposition parties including camera footage before arriving at any decision on poll anomalies during Saturday’s municipal polls.
Bandopadhyay’s appointment is being seen by political circles as a move to quell the outcry by Opposition parties like the CPI(M) and the BJP for re-polling in the wake of alleged violence and rigging by the ruling Trinamool Congress during Saturday’s polls.
The Opposition parties, including CPI(M)-led Left Front, BJP and Congress had demanded fresh elections to Bidhannagar and Asansol Municipal Corporations and Bally under Howrah Municipal Corporation while the Trinamool Congress had demanded counting of votes on October 7 as scheduled earlier.
Bandopadhyay’s predecessor S R Upadhyay — came in for flak from both Trinamool Congress as well as Opposition parties after the civic polls in Bidhannagar and Asansol were marred by alleged violence and malpractices.
Under increasing heat, the SEC had first postponed the date of counting on <g data-gr-id="26">Sunday,</g> but decided to hold the exercise on October 9.
The TMC had staged a dharna in the Commission's office in which two state ministers Partha Chatterjee and Subrata Mukherjee and city Mayor Sovan.
Chatterjee demanded counting of votes on October 7. Earlier, the BJP and Left parties had staged <g data-gr-id="22">sit-in</g> in front of the Commission’s office demanding fresh elections.