statesman news service
KOLKATA, 17 JUNE: Governor M K Naraynan today summoned state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee to Raj Bhavan and reportedly sought to know from him the state government’s latest position on holding the panchayat poll. The meeting was held in the backdrop of a spate of complaints by the Opposition parties about widespread intimidation of their candidates and lack of security arrangements to prevent such incidents. The state government also decided to write to the Centre afresh for requisitioning 300 companies of Central forces for the poll. It is yet to receive any response from the neighbouring states from which it has sought forces.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told the media at Barasat during the day that whatever forces the state government had at its disposal has been provided for the rural poll. The panchayat minister told the Governor the state government was not in favour of increasing the phases of the panchayat polls. For the past few days, there had been talks that the state election commission was mulling over holding the poll in more than the already announced three phases in order to ensure free and fair poll with inadequate forces.
According to sources at Writers’ Buildings, the SEC might move court on Wednesday against the government for the latter’s “failure” to arrange adequate armed forces for the poll. The state panchayat minister accused the CPI-M and the Congress of conspiring against the government to forestall the elections.
Earlier during the day, while responding to incidents of violence during the nomination process, the minister said such incidents were “common before polls everywhere and it’s unfortunate.”
Left Front chairman Biman Bose, who led a delegation to the Governor during the day, said the remark only reflected the “new government’s mind set as it only echoed the chief minister’s recent assertions that grave crimes against women and violence college campuses were small matters”. The state government will respond to the SEC’s letter on the “government’s status of demand for security forces”, state Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra said. The government would write to the SEC informing it of the total strength of security forces available with the government. “The information will be shared with the court if needed,” he said.
The Trinamul Congress women cell representatives met the state election commissioner Meera Pande and urged her to stick to the three-phase rural poll schedule and not to delay the rural poll by moving to the court.
Ms Dola Sen, INTTUC state president and three told the commissioner that for the first time about 35 to 50 per cent women are participating in the rural poll this time around and any attempt to scuttle the poll process would demoralise them.
Earlier in the day, Trinamul women cell took out a procession from Birla Planetarium towards state election commission’s office demanding the rural poll be held according to the scheduled already announced.
Chanditala CPM accused of removing important files
CHANDITALA, 17 JUNE: The CPM-governed Shiakhala gram panchayat was accused today of removing important files from its safe official custody. Trinamul workers staged a protest against the tampering and removal of important official files from Chanditala, block one, Shiakhala gram panchayat office. Local Trinamul leader Mr Subir Mukherjee alleged that the CPM were removing important files to hide records of their misdeeds which would make certain their defeat in the upcoming panchayat elections. BDO of Chanditala, block one, Mr Pritish Samanta have stepped into ascertain the truth of the allegations,
Mr Pradeep Saha, the Sabhadipati of Hooghly zilla parishad, however, rubbished the allegations and called for police intervention. sns