Bengal panchayat elections: Guv sends strong message on poll-related violence

Kolkata, Jun 10 (IANS): West Bengal Governor C.V. Ananda Bose on Saturday gave a strong message to State Election Commissioner (SEC) Rajiva Sinha to take adequate measures to prevent any form of violence in connection with the forthcoming panchayat elections scheduled on July 8.

During his meeting with Sinha, who was summoned to the Raj Bhavan on Saturday, the Governor expressed concern over the reports of clashes that have already broken out in different pockets of the state since the filing of nominations started on Friday.

During the meeting that lasted for around 45 minutes, sources said, the Governor clearly gave a message to the SEC that he is keeping a close watch on the evolving situation and will not remain silent if the violence continues.

The sources said that Bose also inquired whether there are adequate forces in the state to ensure peace and fair polls, and if the SEC was considering the deployment of central armed forces.

Sinha said the issue of deployment of central forces often depends on the direction of the court, and since a matter on this count is pending at the Calcutta High Court, the poll commission is looking forward to the court order.

Soon after his meeting with the Governor, Sinha convened a press conference where he said that an all-party meeting on panchayat polls will be held on June 13.

Meanwhile, the state BJP leadership termed the meeting as an eye-wash, as the SEC has already announced the date for the polls without calling a similar all-party meeting.

The Trinamool Congress leadership has claimed that there is no legal binding for the SEC to announce the poll dates after convening an all-party meeting.

Polling for the three-tier panchayat system will be conducted on July 8, and the results will be announced on July 11.



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Title: Bengal panchayat elections: Guv sends strong message on poll-related violence

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