WB panchayat polls not possible without adequate forces: SEC
Kolkata: Panchayat elections in West Bengal sank deeper into uncertainty on Monday with the State Election Commission telling the Calcutta High Court that without adequate security forces it cannot hold the polls.
The Centre has also expressed its inability to spare central forces for the polls owing to commitments in rain- devastated Uttarakhand, apart from other exigencies.
The SEC told a division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi that availability of forces from the state government was "hopelessly inadequate" and asserted that it cannot take the responsibility of holding the elections without adequate forces.
SEC counsel S Pal submitted that the state government had given repeated assurances since the high court`s order of June 14 to the state to provide adequate forces as per requirement of the commission but has failed to do so in real terms.
Pal said he felt that there was a deliberate plan not to hold the elections.
He also questioned the Centre`s alibi for not providing the central armed police force claiming that it has to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Appearing for the central government, counsel SS Sarkar submitted that owing to the massive natural calamity in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh for which central forces were being used for rescue and relief operations and other reasons, it would not be possible for the Centre to spare its forces.
He stated that central forces were also in deployment for Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir, to tackle militancy in Assam, law and order problem owing to Telangana agitation in Andhra Pradesh and anti-Maoist operations in different states.
Sarkar submitted that holding of local polls was a state responsibility and that central forces were not used for that purpose.
He also claimed that the state government has a large number of forces of its own, including 42 battalions of CAPF, two of IRB and 20 battalions of State Armed Police, which can be used for the purpose of peaceful conduct of elections.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- NHRC issues notice to Rajasthan government over death of 11 children in home
- Delhi: 10-year-old boy dies due to overdose of Vitamin D
- Haryana: Groom injured in celebratory firing at wedding in Hissar
- Phase V of West Bengal Assembly polls starts today
- Discussion over Mamata Banerjee's close aide Firhad Hakim's 'mini Pakistan' comment
- Russian woman raped in Goa by guest house owner
- Nobody can portray Lakhan better than me: Anil Kapoor
- PHOTOS: How Mumbai Indians' captain Rohit Sharma celebrated his 29th birthday!
- Mamata Banerjee's close aide Firhad Hakim describes West Bengal's Garden Reach as 'mini-pakistan', draws flak
- Top five health benefits of raspberries!