Bengal EC issues own notification

The state election commission on Wednesday rolled up its sleeves and started a full-fledged poll preparation, which had encountered major setbacks due to the petitions filed by numerous political parties in the apex court. After receiving the fresh poll notification from the state government, the commission issued its own notification to the district magistrates and convened the meetings with government officials, which were cancelled at the behest of the state government.
On Thursday, the commission officials will hold a meeting with state home secretary, DG and ADG (law and order) along with another meeting with the district observers of Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore; the three districts of the first phase poll on July 11.
According to a senior election commission official, the deployment of central and state forces at the polling booths will be discussed in the Thursday’s meeting with the DG and ADG. In addition, the all-party meeting will be held on Saturday to discuss the revised schedule of the election campaign by the political parties. The commission will also talk to the DM’s and SP’s of nine districts of the first three panchayat poll phases on Friday. Meanwhile, a delegation of Left Front led by senior CPI(M) leader Rabin Deb, submitted a memorandum at the state election commission office demanding the timing of voting be changed keeping the interest of the Muslim voters in mind. The delegation wanted the voting timing to be 6 am to 4 pm, instead of 7 am to 5 pm as per the rules.
“The timing of voting will be decided after the consultation with the state government,”said state election commissioner Mira Pande. She further hinted that the commission might issue a separate notification for the poll timing. According to sources, some Muslim organisation had also cited the same change in the voting timing to suit the fasting Muslim voters. Sources said the commission might hold a meeting with one of the representatives of the Muslim organisations on Thursday afternoon. However, the commission official refused to comment on the counting day decision.

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