statesman news service
KOLKATA, 19 JUNE: The state government was directed today to submit an Action Taken Report (ATR) by Monday on the judgments of  the Division Bench of Mr Arun Mishra, Chief Justice and Mr Justice Joymalya Bagchi on 4 June and 14 June on the steps taken to ensure a free and fair panchayat elections.
Passing this direction, the Division Bench, presided over by the Chief Justice further directed the Union home ministry&’s counsel to inform the court on Monday on his instructions about the deployment of Central forces for the rural polls.
The state government was directed to give its affidavit-in-reply to the petition filed by the state election commission during the day on the panchayat election by Friday together with its action on the report of an observer alleging political bias by the officer-in-charge of Pingla police station in West Midnapore.
The State Election Commission, which has been  embroiled in a legal tussle with the state government on the issues of primacy in conducting panchayat elections and deployment of Central forces, told the Division Bench that the state was not providing it with the logistics it had asked for.
Appearing for the commission, counsel L C Bihani alleged that the state had provided only 3,800 personnel in the nomination stage, though it had asked for 32,000.
He also said the state government had not paid heed to the election commission&’s directive to remove the officer in-charge of Pingla police station.

Governor ‘using personal influence’ to secure Central forces for rural polls
KOLKATA, 19 JUNE: Amidst uncertainty looming over the availability of Central troops for the panchayat polls, Governor M K Narayanan today said that he was employing his personal influence in Delhi to get the forces from the Centre.  
The State Election Commission (SEC) secretary Mr Tapas Ray on the other hand today said that following a request from state BJP president Mr Rahul Sinha, the poll panel was contemplating convening an all-party meeting to discuss the rural poll impasse.           
Responding to a media query on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Tagore Centre of Natural Sciences and Philosophy at Bose Institute this afternoon, the Governor said: “I am trying my best. I have some influences in Delhi and I am trying (to convince them to send the Central forces).”
The Governor  is reported to have already spoken to the Union home minister Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde over the issue this Monday. sns