WHILE Advocate General Bimal Chatterjee said the state government intended to hold the panchayat polls by June 10,2013,failing which the three-tier panchayat system will go defunct leading to a constitutional crisis,the state election commission (SEC) officials stated that the elections cannot be held by the given date. Most election works,like training of polling personnel printing of ballot papers,have not been completed yet,they reasoned.
After the state government issues notification,it takes 45 days to complete the entire election work,and even if the notification is issued tomorrow,it would not be possible to hold the elections,the election officials added.
According to the figures collected from the SEC,around 58,000 polling personnel are required to be posted at the polling booths in 329 blocks. There is,however,a shortfall of around 17,000 polling personnel in the state with the shortfall being most acute in South 24 Parganas,Purulia and Birbhum.
Besides,around 200 polling stations are in a dilapidated state and need to be shifted to other locations a task that will again consume time.
Secretary,SEC,Tapas Roy admitted it was not possible to hold the panchayat elections by June 10 and that they will inform the Calcutta High Court likewise. The elections should at least be postponed to June 20,he said.
Meanwhile,Advocate General Bimal Chatterjee,today apprised the High Court that the state will provide two armed policemen at each of the polling premises during the polls. The SEC,however,suggested that the state government deploy at least two armed force personnel at each of the polling booths in the state.
According to SECs affidavit,there would be a total of 42,393 premises where more than 57,000 polling booths would have to be set up to hold the poll. There would,therefore,be a huge gap between the security force demanded by the SEC and that provided by the state government.
Chatterjee also said that security personnel would not be required from outside if the poll was held in two phases but the same would have to be brought from outside if the polls are held in a single day.
The case will come up for hearing on Friday.