Trinamool slams Bengal election commissioner

Kolkata, April 2 (IANS) The Trinamool Congress Tuesday accused West Bengal State Election Commissioner (SEC) Meera Pandey of “dancing like a puppet” to the tune of the opposition CPI-M.

The Trinamool Congress slammed the SEC for moving the high court to seek rejection of the panchayat election dates notified by the state government.

Trinamool Congress leader Chandrima Bhattacharya took a dig at Pandey, indirectly alleging that she was working at the behest of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

“She (Pandey) is listening to those people who are making her dance like a puppet,” said Bhattacharya, also the minister of state for law.

She was speaking at a protest rally in the city, a day after the SEC moved the Calcutta High Court seeking rejection of the panchayat election date notified by the Mamata Banerjee government.

On March 22, the government had announced two-phased polls to be held April 26 and April 30, under the supervision of the state police personnel.

This ran counter to the commission’s suggestion of a three-stage poll, with deployment of central paramilitary troopers.

Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress government has been engaged in a war of words and letters with the election panel over the scheduling of the dates and deployment of central paramilitary forces.

Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay, who also spoke on the occasion, hit out at the commission on the deployment of the central forces during the upcoming rural body polls.

“Is it necessary to bring central forces in the state, spending Rs.400 crore? Who is deciding it, CPI-M? Bandopandhyay asked.

“Notification of panchayat elections is state government’s right,” claimed CPI-M leader Shovan Deb Chattopadhyay.

Chattopandhyay, also Kolkata’s mayor, said his party was ready for the polls.

“It was the SEC which was not willing to hold timely rural elections in 17 districts of Bengal,” he said.

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