The West Bengal government today dismissed as a creation of the media the tussle with the State Election Commission on the issue of panchayat polls and maintained that central forces were not required for the exercise.
“Central force deployment for panchayat polls will cost the state Rs 350 crore. We think there is no requirement of central forces,” Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee told reporters at Writers’ Buildings. He said the police were capable of conducting the panchayat polls,and if at all some forces were needed,they would be brought from other states.
The minister said that state home department would decide later on it depending on the requirement and situation. Asked if the complications were resolved,he said,”There was no complication. It was created by a section of the media.”
Mukherjee’s statement came shortly after state Election Commissioner Mira Pandey’s met Governor M K Narayanan at the Raj Bhavan for a second time.
Asked if he would meet the governor,Mukherjee said “My department received a phone call from Governor House yesterday. I was not in my department. If there is a call (from Raj Bhavan),I will go.” The SEC has suggested deployment of Central forces for the grassroots elections. The government has already announced a two phase poll on April 26 and April 30.