Hold panchayat polls in WB after roll revision: Left to EC

Four Left parties asked the Election Commission not to allow panchayat elections in WB to be held before the revision of electoral rolls.

Updated: Sep 28, 2012, 16:32 PM IST

New Delhi: Four Left parties on Friday asked the Election Commission not to allow panchayat elections in West Bengal to be held before the revision of electoral rolls.

Leaders of CPI(M), CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc met top officials of the Election Commission here, saying the Trinamool Congress-led government was planning to advance panchayat polls, scheduled in May 2013, and conduct it on the basis of unrevised rolls.

This was "not only contrary to the best traditions of holding elections in a transparent and non-partisan manner, but also aims to overturn the decisions already taken and steps initiated by the Election Commission," they said.

"We are given to understand that the Chief Secretary of West Bengal government has written to the Hon`ble Commission to put in abeyance the process of revision of rolls. We are further given to understand that the alleged reason for this request was that the state administration will be involved in the preparation for the panchayat elections," the leaders said in a memorandum submitted to the EC.

They urged the poll panel to "ensure that the schedule of revision of rolls as communicated by ECI vide No. 23/WB/2012 of 30th August, 2012 be enforced."

In the memorandum, the Left leaders said the Election Commission had announced in August that summary revision of electoral rolls will start on October one and the final publication would be on January 15 next year.

These revised rolls were to be treated as the base from then for any poll.

Maintaining that subsequently all-party meeting was held by the Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal but it was "not attended" by the ruling Trinamool Congress, they said the panchayat elections were in due only in May 2013 and, even if elections took place, the newly-elected bodies cannot assume office before the tenure of the present panchayats was over.

"Therefore, it seems this alleged move is aimed at advancing the panchayat elections.

Further, such an alleged request could also be prompted by the consideration that the panchayat elections be held on old rolls and not the revised ones," they said.

The leaders were Narahari Mahato (AIFB), D Raja (CPI), Nilotpal Basu (CPI-M) and Abani Roy (RSP).