The State Election Commission will start issuing notifications on May 27 for panchayat elections in West Bengal, accepting the government’s district-wise grouping for each of the three phases of poll.

This decision was reached at a meeting here on Thursday between officials of the Commission, and Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee and Additional Director General of Police Banibrata Basu.

The Commission would issue the notification on May 27 for the first phase, on May 31 for the second phase and on June 3 for the third. But it is still not convinced about the security arrangements being proposed by the government.

While nine districts in south Bengal will go to the polls on July 2, polling in four districts each will be held on July 6 and 9.

During the meeting, officials of the Commission raised the issue of the government’s preparedness for deployment of adequate security forces.

They were assured that a report with details would be sent to the Commission by May 27. “I have not yet been told of the details of the security forces deployed. The State will give a final report in two or three days and if required, we’ll sit again,” said State Election Commissioner Mira Pande.

A senior official of the Commission told journalists that there was a deficit of 75,000 personnel between what the government had and what was required for the elections.

Late Wednesday evening, Ms. Pande met Governor M.K. Narayanan and informed him of the Commission’s views on deployment of security forces.

The Commission has maintained that despite its agreeing with the government on district-wise grouping, it will not compromise on security and the State will have to meet the deficit in the availability of forces.


  • I have not yet been told of the details of the security forces deployed: Mira Pande

  • The State will have to meet the deficit in the availability of forces: SEC