Will fight poll panel in court: Bengal minister

Kolkata, April 1 (IANS) The West Bengal government said it will contest the State Election Commission’s plea to the Calcutta High Court to reject the panchayat election dates it had notified.

“They (the commission) did not appeal for a discussion with us but directly moved the high court. We got the copy of the petition. We are contesting it,” Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee told reporters here.

“We are strong enough to fight this legal battle. Legally, the government is in a good position,” Mukherjee said.

After days of stalemate, the State Election Commission Monday morning moved court, seeking rejection of the panchayat election date notified by the state government.

The Mamata Banerjee-led 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.

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.

Refuting the Left Front and Congress’ allegations that the Trinamool Congress government was trying to delay the upcoming panchayat polls, the minister said: “We want early elections. We want that elections to be conducted before the summer sets in.”

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