Kolkata civic polls: Governor bats for CAPF deployment

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. File

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. File

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday sought details of deployment of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) for civic polls in Kolkata from State Election Commissioner ( SEC) Sourav Das who met him.

“SEC @MamaOfficial indicated to Governor Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar that as regards deployment # CAPF he would revert by December 4 and assured that all steps for fair, impartial and free elections will be diligently taken,” Mr. Dhankhar said on social media.

The Governor said he “indicated to SEC that constitutional provisions have overriding effect and be followed”.

The Governor had met the SEC on November 23 and emphasised that the “SEC in its authority was at par with the ECI and it should be non-partisan, independent and effective and not extension of Govt.”

The SEC has said decision on deployment of the CAPF would be take in consultation with police officials. The issue has been crucial to all polls in the State because of the apprehension of poll-related violence.

The Trinamool Congress leadership accused the Governor of acting beyond his jurisdiction as the SEC is an independent body “empowered with superintendence, direction and control of all elections to panchayats and civic bodies”.

Party spokesperson Kunal Ghosh pointed out that the TMC had won 217 seats and the BJP only 70 despite the deployment of the CAPF in the Assembly polls.

State BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said there is no possibility of holding free and fair polls without the deployment of the CAPF. He said the BJP will approach the Supreme Court seeking the deployment.

The Calcutta High Court is hearing a petition filed by the BJP leadership demanding that the polls to all civic bodies be held on a single day. Elections to 112 civic bodies are pending. The SEC has announced that polling for the 144th ward of the KMC will be held on December 19.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 7:08:09 pm |