Congress fears violence during Bengal rural polls

Kolkata, April 15 (IANS) Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhry Monday said there was a high probability of violence during the upcoming rural body elections in West Bengal.

“There are very high chances that violence may take place during the panchayat elections. That is why all opposition parties want central security forces deployed during the elections,” he s aid at an event here.

The Berhampore MP, who is also the minister of state for railways, also criticised the state government for its refusal to use the central forces.

The Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal is engaged in a bitter legal battle with the State Election Commission (SEC) over the scheduling of the polls and deployment of central paramilitary forces.

Defying SEC’s recommendation, the Banerjee government announced the polls will be held in two phases under the vigilance of state police.

Subsequently, the poll panel, which had recommended a three-staged polls under the supervision of central forces, moved the Calcutta High Court seeking cancellation of the announcement.

While the Commission had demanded 800 companies of central para-military forces, the state government said it could not financially afford these many forces.

–Indo-Asian New Service

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