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WB panchayat polls: Differences between govt, EC continues

WB panchayat polls: Differences between govt, EC continues

The Calcutta High Court in its May 14 direction had asked the state government to announce the poll dates in consultation with the EC.

Kolkata: There were differences at a meeting on Thursday between the State Election Commission (SEC) and the West Bengal government over fixing dates for the three-tier panchayat elections after the Calcutta High Court's direction that the two mutually agree on it.

"We suggested certain dates and they (state government) also placed some dates for the panchayat election to be held in three phases as per the High Court order," State Election Commissioner Mira Pandey told reporters after the meeting.

"Finally, the state government will inform the dates for the panchayat poll," Pandey said. The Calcutta High Court in its May 14 direction had asked the state government to announce the poll dates in consultation with the SEC. The commissioner said, preliminary discussions were held on deployment of forces for the polls.

"More discussions will follow," she said. To a question, Pandey said that a suggestion was made for an all-party meeting to discuss the details of the polls. State government officials were not available for comment.

The meeting was held for the first time at the SEC's office at the initiative of both the commission and the state government, two days after after the High Court direction to complete the poll process by July 15. It was attended by Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra, Home Secretary Basudev Banerjee, besides Pandey and SEC secretary Tapas Roy.