Amidst preparations for holding rural polls in 17-districts of West Bengal, the State Election Commissioner Mira Pande has received threat letters, officials of the Commission said here on Saturday.

“She [Ms. Pande] has received threat letters. We have informed the State Home Department about it,” an official of the Commission said.

Over the past week, the retired IAS officer, had locked horns with the State government over a few critical issues, has received three letters which have accused her of furthering the interest of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress.

State’s Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee told The Hindu during the day that the matter came to his notice only on Friday. “ I received a letter from the State Election Commissioner which referred to three letters containing allegations against her,” state Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee confirmed to The Hindu.

``It is being looked into,” Mr Banerjee said . He however reserved his comments whether these could be termed as threat letters.

The development is crucial as it comes only days before May 27, when the election panel is expected to issue the notification for the first phase of the three–phase rural polls. Things reached this stage after a long spell of differences of opinion between the SEC and the state government, which got dragged to the courts.

Though a state of temporary truce prevails, the issue of deployment of security forces still remain a matter of dispute. A recent ruling of a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court, directing both the State government and the Commission to hold panchayat polls by July 15, has helped both reach a consensus on holding the polls.

One of the letters that `threaten’ the head of the State election panel with dire consequences also drags her son’s name, stating that she has links to some political parties.