Bengal Governor intervenes in government-SEC standoff

Published: 17th June 2013 04:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th June 2013 04:17 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan on Monday called Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee to Raj Bhavan for sorting out differences between the state government and the state election commission on holding rural polls in time.

"The Governor has called me to meet him at Raj Bhavan at 4 PM," Mukherjee told PTI.

Raj Bhavan sources said the Governor would discuss panchayat election issue with the minister, and added that he was hopeful that the polls would be held in time.

Mukherjee said the issue of availability of security forces for manning panchayat polls would not rest in him as it was not under his jurisdiction.

State Election Commissioner Mira Pandey had already met the Governor more than once to brief him about the issues- related to panchayat elections.

The state election commission has said that it is still in the dark about the availability of security force from the government, and added that the latter would be held responsible if the polls are not held as per the schedule.

The first phase of panchayat election in the state is slated on July 2.

The Commissioner said a communication would be made to the state government by today seeking a final clarification on the availability of forces to ensure the panchayat polls scheduled for July 2 were conducted freely and fairly and in a peaceful manner.

Pandey said it was known to all that the government had planned the first phase poll in nine south Bengal districts and hence, the responsibility rested on the government to ensure adequate forces to conduct the election free and fairly.

Even at the time of nomination filing, there was not adequate security personnel, she claimed.

The commissioner said that after receiving the government's reply to its communication on force availability, the poll panel would chalk out its next course of action.

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