Bengal poll panel seeks clarifications from Mamta regime

Kolkata, March 25 (IANS) West Bengal’s State Election Commission Monday wrote to the state government seeking clarification about its unilateral announcement of the upcoming rural body polls, even as confrontation loomed large between the poll panel and the government.

The 11-page letter was sent on a day when the commission held a meeting regarding its future course of action after the Mamata Banerjee government, defying the panel recommendations, March 22 announced that the two-phased election would be held April 26 and 30 with the state police providing security.
The poll panel had recommended a three-staged polls with central security forces providing security.
“We hope that the government will take action according the suggestions we have made in the letter,” Commission secretary Tapas Roy told the media.
Roy though, refused to comment if the commission which has been on a collision course against the state government was mulling legal action following the announcement of the polls.
“I am not commenting on that right now. We will proceed as the occasion demands,” he said.
The commission in the letter has sought clarifications regarding deployment of security personnel as well as the rationale behind holding the elections in three districts of Malda, Murshidabad and Uttar Dinajpur in the second phase on April 30. The rest of the 14 districts go to the polls April 26.
There has been a tug of war between the Commission and ruling Trinamool Congress with a front- ranking party leader even questioning the impartiality of the panel head Meera Pandey.