Bengal minister rules out polls before Oct.

West Bengal panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee on Sunday ruled out rural polls before the pujas but said it would be held within this year. He also claimed that the present law and order situation in the state was better than any other state, negating the need of deployment of Central paramilitary forces for the panchayat elections.
On the timing of the rural polls, Mr Mukherjee said, “I cannot comment on the time of the elections as it is before the court now. But there is a strong possibility of the panchayat polls taking place within this year. Why can not it happen? If we can fix a date avoiding the summer, rain and pujas it can be held naturally.” According to him, the state may go to the panchayat polls in the winter before the year-end.
He, however, acknowledged that a constitutional crisis might arise after June, if the polls were not held by that time when the tenure of most gram panchayats would end. Mr Mukherjee added, “In other places, September is the deadline.”
He explained, “The constitutional crisis does not mean that the panchayat system would be destroyed. The crisis can be avoided. In such case, an ordinance can been brought to help the government appoint district magistrates, and sub-divisional officers and block development officers as the administrators of the panchayats.”
About the Central forces’ deployment which the Calcutta high court granted to the West Bengal state election commission, the panchayat minister noted that the law and order is a state subject. “The law and order situation is better here than any other state. An incident in a college can be a news but it does not reflect the entire situation of the state,” he argued.

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