THE legal battle over the panchayat polls is all set for a long haul,and the government is preparing the ground for appointing administrators to the panchayats. In what could be considered a first indication of the government foregoing the idea of panchayat elections being held in the state in near future at least by June when the tenure of the panchayats is ending Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee on Friday said an ordinance could be promulgated to appoint administrators for the panchayats.
We are trying to promulgate an ordinance after taking the permission of the court to appoint administrators if the panchayats become defunct following the elections are not held (by June). We have to bring a Bill in this regard (in the Assembly) within next six months, Mukherjee said.
The government is already fighting a legal battle with the state election commission over the issuing of the poll notification.
The appointment of the administrators at the panchayats would give the opposition parties the ammunition to accuse the Trinamool government of intentionally avoiding the election. They have been accusing that the Trinamool government wants its hold in the panchayats through administrators as most of the rural bodies are being ruled by the CPM at present.
However,the appointment of administrators would prove detrimental for the government too as it may end up losing crore of rupees of Central government funds,which are given to the state for passing it to the rural bodies to implement several welfare schemes.
Mukherjee today tried to pass the blame on State Election Commissioner Meera Pandey for delaying the polls by taking the matter to the court. Pandeys tenure is ending on April next year and the secretarys (Tapas Roy) in May next year. As a result they could summon this courage,he added.