Deferring elections to 11 municipalities, whose term is slated to end this month, the state government has decided to appoint administrators to helm them. “Panchayat polls took so much time and the issue was even dragged to court. After that the festive season started. That is why elections could not be conducted on time. Now the government has decided to put administrators so that development work and day-to-day activities can be carried on. Later, polls will be conducted,” North Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh said on Saturday.
Administrators will be posted at the municipalities— Alipurduar, Mekhligunj, Haldibari, Dalkhola, Balurghat, Chakdah, Panihati, Habra, Diamond Harbour, Dubraj and Burdwan — from 22 to 26 October, after the end of Puja holidays. Sub-divisional officers will act like administrators and take care of day-to day activities and development work in these municipalities till the completion of polls.
Meanwhile, opposition parties raised questions on the government’s move to defer the polls.
“If polls are conducted, Trinamool Congress will have to resort to rigging and violence. That is tarnishing their image. If free and fair polls take place, they will lose. This is why the government is deferring the polls. They will conduct the polls when the time is convenient to them. The government also deferred college union elections,” said state BJP president Dilip Ghosh.
State Congress chief Soumen Mitra said, “When the ruling party do not want to face the people, they defer polls and bring in administrators.”
“Opposition parties can say anything they want. But we all know that people are with Mamata Banerjee and that is why in the panchayat polls we swept Bengal,” Rabindranath Ghosh said.