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Panchayat minister clears air on scheduled dates for polls

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

State panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee on Saturday said the panchayat polls is to be held as scheduled in May, June. He, however, discounted the speculation of advancing the polls any further, thus pouring cold water on its likely advancement.

“The panchayat polls will be held as scheduled in May, June. Nothing has been decided on the advancement of the poll,”Mukherjee told newspersons on the sidelines of the state government’s flagship programme on Khadya Sathi at Khadya Bhawan on Saturday.

According to Trinamul sources, despite the ruling party in a driver’s seat on the basis of its garnering majority seats of running the three tier panchayat- Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samity and Zilla Parishads in 2013 rural polls, the party supremo Mamata Banerjee does not want to rush through the election by advancing the polls. With the BJP’s growing influence in the state and its reported dent in some of the pockets in rural Bengal, she wants to be doubly secured.

The source also claimed that for this, Banerjee, who charted out the works for the party MPs, MLAs, and district level leaders in the core committee meeting held at the
Trinamul Bhawan recently, had undertaken visits at district level to take note of the progress of developmental projects that the state government has launched.

A senior leader of the party on condition of anonymity said the chief minister’s target is to win as many seats in the panchayat polls because she is seeing it an acid test before the 2019 LoK Sabha polls.

The leader also said the panchayat polls always touted to be the indicator of the party in power’s support base. With the opposition Left and the Congress are losing the ground rapidly, saffron brigade is out to fill up the Opposition space through its divisive and communal policies.