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West Bengal panchayat polls to be held in single phase on July 8 Panchayat poll

West Bengal panchayat polls to be held in single phase on July 8

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 08 Jun 2023, 09:55 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: The three-tier panchayat election in West Bengal will be held in a single phase on July 8, newly appointed State Election Commissioner Rajiva Sinha announced Thursday.

The counting of the votes will be held on July 11.

Addressing the media at the West Bengal State Election Commission office, Sinha said the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) will come into force from the present day.

“The election for two tiers in Darjeeling and Kalimpong district and for three tiers in the rest of West Bengal will be held in one phase on July 8. The process of nomination will start from June 9 and will continue till June 15,” Sinha announced.

This comes after Governor C V Ananda Bose had cleared the name of former West Bengal chief secretary Rajiva Sinha as the new State Election Commissioner.

Since his appointment, Sinha held several meetings with state government officials before announcing the date of the election on Thursday.

The last day of withdrawal of nomination will be June 20. Polling will be held from 7 am to 5 pm.

During campaigning, no rallies or meetings will take place between 10 pm and 8 am.

The new State Election Commissioner, however, did not specify whether the state poll panel will be seeking deployment of central paramilitary forces in the panchayat polls.

Responding to the announcement, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Suvendu Adhikari said it is a "murder of democracy" as the polling date was announced unilaterally without any discussion with all parties and that only a few days have been allotted for nomination.

In a tweet Adhikari said, “Murder of Democracy in West Bengal. For the 1st time ever, the Panchayat Elections have been announced unilaterally without holding a single All Party Meeting at the Block levels, District Levels or at the State Level. There hasn’t been any discussion on the security arrangements for the single phase Elections. The time duration allotted for filing of nominations starts from tomorrow i.e. 9th June; Friday, with 15th June being the last date. 10th & 11th June being weekend, no official work would be possible.”

“The intention of the WB State Election Commission is very clear. From the manner of declaration itself, it’s clear that they would be acting actively as the Frontal Organisation of the Regional TMC Party. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee & State Election Commissioner Rajiva Sinha would be held responsible for any casualty resulting due to the violence which might erupt during the elections, because of this hasty declaration & lack of application of reasonable diligence & lack of consideration towards proper security arrangements," he added.

The ruling Trinamool Congress had recorded a massive victory in the 2018 West Bengal panchayat polls, with the BJP coming a distant second.

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