Mamata doesn’t intend to hold panchayat polls: CPI-M

Kolkata, May 11 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Saturday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of taking contradictory stands on panchayat polls in the state as she was not in favour of holding the elections.

A day after the Calcutta High Court upheld the primacy of the State Election Commission in holding the panchayat polls and ordered a three-phase election, and Banerjee said the polls will be held at the right time, CPI-M central committee member Mohammad Salim said: “It is her habit to make speeches which are replete with self-contradictions in the same paras.”

“On the one hand she says elections will be held at the right time, and on the other hand she is prompting Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee to say that the government will move the division bench, or even the Supreme Court against the court order.

“Her main aim is not to hold the panchayat polls. She wants nominated panchayat bodies run hrough bureaucrats.”

Salim said Trinamool did not believe in decentralisation of power. “They want to centralise everything. The essence of the panchayat system is decentralisation of power. So the concept of Panchyati Raj militates against her idea of governance.”

Giving a jolt to the government, the high court Friday ordered a three-phase panchayat polls in with deployment of central paramilitary personnel.

In a verdict of far-reaching consequences, Justice Biswanath Sommader upheld the primacy of the State Election Commission which had challenged the state government’s announcement of a two-stage poll under the supervision of only the state security forces.

Terming the verdict as “impractical, impossible to implement and unacceptable”, state Panchayat Minister Mukherjee declared that the government would move the division bench Monday.

Asked what would be the government’s stand if it did not get a favourable verdict in the division bench, Mukherjee said Saturday: “If the need be, we will go to the Supreme Court”.

Addressing rally at Burdwan, Banerjee asserted the elections would be held at the right time despite a “conspiracy hatched by opposition parties to prevent a timely panchayat polls.

“We have been trying to hold panchayat election in the state since September (2012). Who has gone to court? Those who will lose- the CPI-M, Congress, the BJP,” said Banerjee.

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