West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee wants Bengal rural polls sans paramilitary forces

The upcoming rural polls would be a litmus test to BJP’s actual penetration into the rural heartland of the state and may be an indicator to the bigger battles.

Published: 30th March 2018 12:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2018 12:42 AM   |  A+A-

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (File | PTI)

By Express News Service

KOLKATA: After West Bengal administration rejected Centre’s proposal for paramilitary forces to deal with communal strife in parts of south Bengal, the state government proposed Election Commission to hold the upcoming panchayat elections in the state without any central forces stating that its 56,000 state forces would be adequate to conduct the elections.

When asked by the Election Commission about the time of holding the elections, the state government proposed that the elections be held in the first week of May so that it is concluded before holy Islamic month Ramzan and also proposed that the elections be conducted in two or three phases.

Though the previous panchayat election was conducted in July, the state government contended that conduct of elections becomes difficult in July due to monsoon rains.

However, Opposition parties vehemently opposed the proposals for elections in May and without central forces.

“They can’t deal Ram Navami with state police and are claiming to give security in polls with these forces. The state government has no rights to deny central forces’ vigil in the polls,” Left Front Assembly leader Sujan Chakraborty said.

On the other hand, state BJP threatened to go to court if elections are conducted in May. “We will not get time for campaigning if the polls are conducted in the first week of May. We will go to court against this proposal if needed,” state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said.

The upcoming rural polls would be a litmus test to BJP’s actual penetration into the rural heartland of the state and may be an indicator to the bigger battles of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the 2021 Assembly elections. 

The polls would also be a last ditched effort of the Left to prove its existence since gradual decline from 2011 and recent setback in Tripura.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp