The state government has decided to hold the panchayat elections in three phases to ensure adequate police deployment at all the panchayat constituencies.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will hold a meeting with the departments concerned and state rural and panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee on Monday to decide on the election dates. The state election commission has already asked the government to inform the commission about the date when it wants the election to be held.
Mukherjee said,The state election commission has asked for the date as the commission needs at least seven months time prior to the election for the preparation. I will hold a meeting with the CM on Monday and she will decide on the date and it has to be passed in the cabinet. We have prepared our report on the panchayat election. The election will be held in three phases in the state. We want to ensure adequate deployment of police personnel for a free and fair election.
Mukherjee further added that it was not possible for the state to make adequate police available to the state election commission to conduct the election as there are 65,000 candidates in 3,500 gram Panchayats. We have 65,000 candidates in 3,500 gram Panchayats. It is not possible for us to conduct the elections in one phase because required police force will not be available.
Even though the election is likely to be held either in December or in early June,the government has decided to allow the existing panchayats to serve full terms till May and the newly elected members will wait till June.
We want the elections to be held early,before the summers. But the elected candidates will have to wait till May to take charge. However,there is a provision to dissolve a panchayat in case of an urgency. The
District Magistrate,too,has the power to take a decision if a panchayat does not cooperate, added Mukherjee.