AK Singh assured the governor that state poll panel has been in touch with the DM’s, SP’s and other officials to take steps.
Kolkata: Alarmed by the violence during candidates’ filing of nominations for the panchayat elections, West Bengal state election commissioner A.K. Singh on Wednesday reportedly conveyed to governor Keshari Nath Tripathi about the requirement of the Central paramilitary forces to conduct the rural polls peacefully even as the West Bengal police claimed that its fit for the task in the background of a Trinamul Congress team’s plan to meet the governor on Thursday.
Mr Singh, who was summoned by the governor, visited Raj Bhavan at around 12 pm. Their meeting on the present law and order situation continued for around 45 minutes during which Mr Singh is learnt to have spoken in favour of the Central forces’ deployment. While apprising the governor of the situation Mr Singh assured him that the state poll panel has been in touch with all the district magistrates and superintendents of police and other district administration officials to take steps.
Mr Tripathi asked him to take appropriate steps to ensure a free and fair elections, according to sources. Before him Mr Tripathi also held meetings with state chief secretary Malay De and home secretary Atri Bhattacharya on the law and order situation in the morning.
At the state secretariat: Nabanna, additional director general of police (law and order) Anuj Sharma said, “For the gram panchayat elections, the Trinamul has filed 1614 nominations. Other parties filed 1692 nominations.”
He however added, “It shows that all parties could file their nominations in the last two days. Instructions have been issued to the SPs that the nomination process should be completed peacefully. Orders have been given to them to make strong police arrangements. The state police is sufficient to conduct free and fair elections.” Lashing out at Mr Tripathi, Trinamul secretary general Partha Chatterjee meanwhile questionned his role once again.
He alleged, “The Raj Bhavan is showing its high-handedness to create pressure on the state election panel and the government officials. But the information says otherwise. We are contacting the Raj Bhavan. We will meet the Governor at the earliest, likely on Thursday, to raise the issue of high-handedness without verifying of information. The way the Raj Bhavan is functionning single-handedly without consulting others, it seems it has become the face of a political party’s branch organisation. It is very sad.”
The development came on a day a BJP leader in Bankura was murdered. Ajit Murmu (42), the victim, was accompanying a group of BJP candidates who were going to collect nomination papers at Ranibandh in the afternoon. A group of Trinamul workers allegedly attacked them on the way. A clash broke out on the road as the BJP resisted them. Murmu suffered deep injuries. He was rushed to Bankura Medical College and Hospital. Murmu succumbed to his injuries in the evening.