WB panchayat polls: 'Only court could decide on postponement'
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on last Wednesday said that the Central government has expressed inability to provide Central forces for deployment during the panchayat polls.
Kolkata: With the State Election Commission having held that it would not compromise on security for next month's grassroot polls, West Bengal Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee on Tuesday said that only the court could decide on its postponement.
"Elections will be held. All preparations are underway and filing of nominations are on. The matter is now in court and only the court can say if the elections are not to be held on grounds of inadequate security," Mukherjee told reporters here.
On the non-availability of Central forces as sought by the SEC, Mukherjee, a senior TMC leader said, "There have been seven panchayat elections earlier in West Bengal which were held without the deployment of Central forces."
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on last Wednesday said that the Central government has expressed inability to provide such forces for deployment during the panchayat polls.
Monday was the last day of withdrawal of nominations for the first phase of the polls and the SEC was flooded with complaints of threat and use of force to withdraw candidature. State Election Commissioner Mira Pandey had said that the SEC had received a few thousand complaints so far. She had also said that the SEC had received a letter from the state government on unavailability of Central forces.
Pandey had, however, stressed that the High Court guideline on manning of polling booths was quite clear and that the SEC wanted to ensure security arrangements before the polls.