Still unsure about first phase: SEChttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/still-unsure-about-first-phase-sec/

Still unsure about first phase: SEC

Even though the fate of the three-tier panchayat polls depends on the Supreme Court’s judgement,the State Election Commission (SEC) said it would be difficult to follow the old schedule and hold the first phase of the polls on July 2.

Even though the fate of the three-tier panchayat polls depends on the Supreme Court’s judgement,the State Election Commission (SEC) said it would be difficult to follow the old schedule and hold the first phase of the polls on July 2.

An SEC official said the commission had raised its plea with the apex court about the state government’s failure to ensure the deployment of adequate security forces as per the Calcutta High Court order of May 14.

The official pointed out that even if the state assures the Supreme Court tomorrow that it would arrange the security forces according to our requirement and in compliance with the HC order,how would the forces be deployed within three days.

The HC on Tuesday had suggested the state to conduct the first phase of the polls in four districts on July 2,and pointed out that the state would require about 49,000 security forces. “It would be very difficult to mobilise and deploy such a huge force in three days (Saturday to Monday),” said the official.

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The official added that in case the apex court passes an order to hold the polls,the number of phases and polling dates would get revised and the commission would then have to issue fresh notifications to reorganise the phases and the districts,permissible under the Act.

The High Court’s May 14 order had directions to complete the poll by July 15,although the apex court may extend the date,said the official,adding,however,that it would be better to complete the polls by July 10,the beginning of Ramzan,while the counting could be held on July 13 as per the schedule.