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Uncertainty over Bengal Panchayat polls as State maintains silence on security

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on May 28, 2013

Uncertainty prevails over holding Panchayat polls in Bengal as the State Government has not yet confirmed the availability of security personnel according to Calcutta High Court order.

No confirmation

The State Election Commissioner (SEC) issued the notification for the three-phased Panchayat polls on Monday, without confirmation from State Government on security issues. According to sources, State has a shortfall of almost 70,000 police personnel, 60 per cent of the requirement.

Though the nomination process for the first phase of polls is scheduled to start on Wednesday, State Election Commissioner Mira Pande could not give a clear picture on how the State would ensure security arrangement.

Rural polls

After a prolonged legal battle between SEC and the State Government over deploying central security forces, the Court on May 14 ordered that rural polls in West Bengal be held with the support of the State police force.

The State had been asked to provide two armed police personnel and two constables at each sensitive polling booth and meet any shortfall of security personnel from other states.

Declining to comment on the State’s plans to meet the shortage of police force, Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee said: “We have sent a letter to the Commission in this regard this evening.”

Meanwhile, Governor M K Narayanan on Tuesday met with the Home Secretary, Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra, ADG (law and order) Banibrata Basu and other officials to discuss the issue.

Banerjee also declined to say anything on what discussed in the meeting.

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Published on May 28, 2013
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