Bengal rural polls: sec accepts dates

Ending the stalemate over the panchayat polls, the West Bengal State Election Commission has finally accepted the Mamata Banerjee government’s proposal of the phase-wise distribution of 17 districts.
The development came a day after the state government rejected the WBSEC’s plea to review its 9-4-4 format and stuck to its demand on Monday. Earlier, the poll panel had suggested a 6-5-6 format.
Asked if it will accept the government’s suggestion of the 9-4-4 format, WBSEC commissioner Mira Pande on Tuesday evening said, “At the moment it is (9-4-4). The election notification will be issued by us this week.”
The WBSEC has even fixed a meeting with government officials on May 23.
Home secretary Basudeb Banerjee will attend the meeting. Director-general of police Naparajit Mukherjee may accompany him. On the meeting, Ms Pande added, “The security details will be discussed then.” She, however, kept the type and deployment of the forces, if the Central ones, under wraps.
“Lets see what happens finally,” Ms Pande replied to a question.
As to what prompted the WBSEC to give in to the government’s suggestion, sources indicated that the poll body took the decision only after consulting its lawyers who opined that the panel’s scope in challenging the government’s offer legally was very limited at this juncture.
During the day, Left Front chairman Biman Bose claimed that a record Front unity has been achieved between the Left allies for the ensuing panchayat elections in the state.
Accusing the Trinamul Congress of disrupting the poll preparations and interfering into the affairs of the WBSEC he also said that the Left is ready to face the rural polls.

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