Bengal election panel working half-heartedly: BJP

Kolkata, June 18 (IANS) The BJP Tuesday accused the West Bengal State Election Commission of playing its role "half-heartedly" in the upcoming panchayat elections, and demanded that the commission call for an all-party meeting within two days to announce the roadmap for the polls.

"We demand that the state election commission call for an all-party meeting to announce its plans of conducting the election," said West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rahul Sinha.

Sinha demanded that the commission defer the poll dates and go for a re-nomination and that the polls be conducted under the supervision of the central paramilitary forces.

"The commission is playing its role half-heartedly. It appears that the commission is still not clear about which path to take, even after the court has appointed it as the sole decision maker," he said.

Predicting bloodshed in the upcoming polls, he said it was doubtful whether the common man will be able to cast his vote.

Following a bitter legal battle, the commission and the state government had concurred on the schedule of the three-phase elections for 17 districts to be held July 2, 6 and 9.

However, the SEC and the state government are now locked over the number of security personnel to be deployed for the polls.

While the SEC has been asking the government for making available the number of security personnel as per the Calcutta High Court directive, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday said her government had not been able to make arrangement for so many personnel.

Sinha also alleged that people having connections to the ruling Trinamool Congress murdered a his party leader Nripen Mondal, who was a candidate in Malda. He said police were not arresting the culprits even though an FIR was lodged with specific names.

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