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Monday, July 16, 2018

Sparring far from over as SEC rejects govt’s district break-up

Panchayat polls Against govt’s 9-4-4 formula,poll panel gives 6-5-6 break-up.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: May 18, 2013 12:30:55 am

Panchayat polls Against govt’s 9-4-4 formula,poll panel gives 6-5-6 break-up.

Differences over phase-wise distribution of districts for the three-phase panchayat elections continued today between state election commission and state government even as both sides reached a consensus on the poll dates.

Rejecting the commission’s proposal of break-up of districts over the three phases,the government today issued a notification drawing up its own phase-wise list of districts — which the SEC has refused to accept.

The government notification has,however,accepted the probable poll dates —July 2,6 and 10 — that the commission had proposed with counting of votes on July 13.

Of the total 17 districts that will go to the polls,the government has proposed a 9-4-4 formula for distribution of districts over the three phases. But the commission,sources said,was in favour of a 6-5-6 formula.

According to sources in the commission,the clubbing of districts indicates that at least 34,000 booths will go to the polls on July 2,however,the state government does not have adequate armed police force to guard the booths.

“There are several points in the notification that are still being considered. The SEC could not issue any notification today due to an all-party meeting. The notification needs to be clarified. The commission will issue a notification next week,” said an official of SEC.

The government,however,is keen on its own formula. State panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee said,“We have agreed on the poll dates given by the SEC. Now they have to leave the clubbing of districts on the state government.”

The government has announced that all nine districts of south Bengal — Burdwan,West Midnapore,East Midnapore,Bankura,Purulia,Howrah,Hooghly,North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas — would go to the polls in the first phase.

Malda,Murshidabad,Birbhum and Nadia would go to the polls in the second phase,and the remaining four districts of Jalpaiguri,Cooch Behar,North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur in the third phase.

Parties raise bypoll,Rathyatra

At the all-party meeting called by state election commissioner Meera Pandey on Friday,the Congress said it was in favour of holding the last phase of polling on July 9 instead of July 10.

Senior Congress leader Manas Bhuniya said: “We favour July 9 as Rathyatra falls on July 10. Moreover,the holy month of Ramzan begins on July 11.”

The CPM raised the issue of Howrah bypoll on June 2.

Party’s Rabin Deb said: “The first phase of election is on July 2 in which Howrah district is going to the polls. The district has a parliamentary bypoll on June 2,which means the district will go to polls twice in a month and there would not be adequate time for poll-related work,” he said.

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