Bengal suggests alternative panchayat poll date
Kolkata: After SEC raised objection over the choice of July 10 as the date for third phase of Panchayat polls, which coincides with Ratha Yatra festival and start of holy Ramzan month, the West Bengal government on Sunday suggested an alternative date of July 9.
State Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee said the state government had decided July 9 as the alternative date for the 3rd phase of the poll.
"Responding to the letter from the SEC, we have decided July 9 to be the alternative date. The formal notification will be made soon by the state government," said Mukherjee.
However, State Election Commission secretary Tapas Roy said the alternative date was yet to be communicated to them by the state government.
"The alternative date for the 3rd phase panchayat poll should come in the form of notification. We are yet to receive it," Roy said.
He said SEC officials today discussed the arrangement and formalities of the poll with the DMs and SPs of eight south Bengal districts and review of law and order in the presence of State Election Commissioner Mira Pandey.
"The DMs and SPs of Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Hooghly, Burdwan and South 24-Parganas districts were present in the meeting today. On Saturday, we held a meeting with the DMs and SPs of several other districts," Roy said.
The SEC secretary had on Saturday asked the state government in a letter to change the date of the third phase poll after opposition political parties in an all-party meeting raised objection over the choice of July 10.
The state government had earlier suggested July 2, 6 and 10 as the dates for the three-phase election.
The Calcutta High Court on May 14 had directed that the Panchayat election be held in three phases and the dates be announced by the state in consultation with the commission.
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