Centre unable to send forces for WB Panchayat polls: Mamata
Kolkata: The Centre has expressed its inability to send paramilitary forces for the three-phase Panchayat polls in West Bengal beginning July 2, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday.
"Due to overstretched deployment of forces, it was not found feasible to provide (the same) for Panchayat polls in your state," Banerjee quoted director, home (personnel), Dinesh Mathur, as having written in a June 4 letter to WB chief secretary Sanjay Mitra.
Given the unavailability of central forces, Banerjee said she had contacted three chief ministers to seek armed forces from their states in order to secure the polls.
"I personally talked to my counterparts in Punjab, Odisha and Rajasthan seeking state armed forces. They have assured that they would look into my request," Banerjee said.
"What can we do? We have to work with our own strength," she added.
WB government had earlier sought 300 companies of central forces for poll security.
The Calcutta High Court had last month asked the state government to make up for the shortfall of security personnel by procuring forces from other states or from the Centre.
Meanwhile, Banerjee said that with the state government having had to release IAS and WBCS officers for posting as observers by the State Election Commission, there were no officials left for development work.
"In the present scenario we are sure to face a crisis in case of a disaster since monsoon is near.
"No election is advisable during monsoon," Banerjee said.
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