West Bengal Guv Meets State EC, Discusses Panchayat Election Preparations

Violence has prevailed in West Bengal since the nomination papers were asked to be submitted for the upcoming panchayat elections, reportedly 8 people have died so far. The West Bengal Governor CV Ananada Bose in a meeting with the state election commissioner discussed the security measures for peaceful polls.

Route march in West Bengals Nadia

West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose met the state election commissioner (SEC) Rajiva Sinha on Sunday as they discussed the security measures and how well the state is prepared for the upcoming panchayat elections on July 8 as several areas of the state reels under political violence that has reportedly killed eight so far.

The two held a two-hour meeting at Raj Bhavan on Sunday. The posting of the central paramilitary forces got delayed to oversee the election process in the state as mandated by the Calcutta High Court and upheld by the Supreme Court.

It is reportedly speculated that the SEC might reschedule the single-phase panchayat election and distribute it into multiple phases for safer conditions.

According to the reports, the state government sought 822 companies of paramilitary forces earlier this week but only 364 companies arrived till Sunday. The SEC officials told the media that they were aware of the situation and that the Centre was not able to inform the rest of the 458 companies regarding the arrival of their forces.

Reportedly CV Ananda Bose said, “I did not call him (Sinha). The SEC sought an appointment with the governor. I want to discuss certain vital points as far as the elections are concerned. I know he is busy. He may come today or any other day," a few hours before the meeting was held

The comment from Bose was perceived in a way that showed that Rajiva Sinha was avoiding a meeting with him due to his "busy" schedule, reportedly. The SEC did not say anything about the meeting to the media, reports said that the Raj Bhavan officials asked for a report from him regarding the plans on deploying the central forces in the state.

What is happening in West Bengal?

According to the reports, the pre-poll violence in West Bengal started at the time of nomination paper submission and so far has killed eight people from different political parties.

The SEC was ordered by the high court to quickly requisition central forces and deploy them, particularly in constituencies that the polling organisation has previously designated as critical, as of June 13.

The Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the order from the state government and SEC. On June 20, the top court, however, dismissed their appeals, noting that the SEC and the state government both believed that additional forces were necessary for fair elections.

State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told the media, “In proportion to the number of booths, I think that this number (822 companies) of central forces is inadequate. I demand more central forces be sent to West Bengal for the panchayat elections,” he said.