Even though it is yet to get any details from the state government on deployment of security personnel for the upcoming panchayat elections,the State Election Commission (SEC) today issued a notification declaring that the three-phase polls would be held on July 2,July 6 and July 9.
With this announcement,the model code of conduct comes into effect today.
It is because of the court order that has set a timeframe (for holding the panchayat polls) that we have issued the notification. We have not yet received assurance regarding security personnel (from the state govt). We hope we will get it soon, said Meera Pandey,State Election Commissioner,at the SEC office.
Both the SEC and the state government have been at loggerheads over the dates and security arrangements for the panchayat polls.
Pandey said the commission will wait till tomorrow for the security details from the security government.
The state election commission had last week sent a letter to the home secretary on the issue of deployment of security forces.
Pandey added that the law and order of the state has now come under the supervision of the SEC.
In the first phase elections will be held in the districts of North 24-Parganas,South 24 -Parganas,Purba Medinipur,Paschim Medinipur,Bankura,Purulia,Howrah,Hooghly and Burdwan.
In the second phase,elections will be held in the districts of Nadia,Malda,Murshidabad and Birbhum. The third phase will see elections in the districts of CoochBehar,Jalpaiguri,North and South Dinajpur.
While for the gram panchayat the total number of constituencies is 48,699 and the number of seats is 48,800,for the panchayat samities the total number of seats is 9,240,and the number of seats at Zilla Parishad is 825.
According to the poll notification,nomination of candiates will start from May 29 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination for the first phase is June 5.
A commission official,meanwhile,said that in view of the recent Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh,the SEC tried to assess the ground reality of the Left extremism affected districts in the state.
Pandey said some political parties have already written letters to the commission on the issue of Left Wing extremism districts of West Midnapore ,Bankura,Purulia and Birbhum.
CPM,Cong allege attacks by TMC supporters
Alleging that supporters of Trinamool Congress have started attacking their candidates in several districts,CPM and Congress on Monday urged the SEC to ensure adequate security for their candidates and party workers. Left Front workers are being threatened even before the formal notification of the panchayat election. We demand that the SEC take appropriate steps so that opposition candidates can file their nominations, said Left Front chairman Biman Bose. West Bengal PCC chief Manas Bhuinya sad TMC workers have launched attacks on its workers in various districts.