Putting to rest all speculation on advancing the upcoming rural polls, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that they will be held as per schedule.
“The elections will be held when they are scheduled,” she told journalists in Siliguri, indicating that the polls will be held in May, when they are due.
“We wanted to hold the elections in February... so that the process gets completed in winter only for the convenience of the people (for reasons of weather),” she said, adding that her government was unable to do that because of resistance of the political parties in Opposition.
“You all know that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress did not want it. They also complained against the State Government,” Ms Banerjee said.
The Election Commission had turned down the request of the State Government to postpone the work of revision of electoral rolls to facilitate early rural polls in the State. Both the CPI (M) and Congress had approached the Commission against the government’s move.
Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Surya Kanta Mishra said that the Left parties have been demanding that the elections be held as per its schedule.
“What is required is a notification. It cannot be done verbally,” Dr. Mishra said, pointing out that there has been no formal announcement about the schedule of the rural polls.
Earlier Ms. Banerjee was not willing to hold elections as per the schedule but now she seems to be willing to do so, he added.