ANI Photo | WB Panchayat polls: TMC writes to SEC against Guv Ananda Bose for “interdicting” election process

Ahead of the July 8 Panchayat polls in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress on Monday wrote to State Election Commission (SEC) against Governor CV Ananda Bose for “interdicting” the election process and attempting to “portray the existence of a parallel government” in the state.
“The Hon’ble Governor is conducting meeting with workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party using facilities of the state such as Guest Houses/Circuit Houses and Transport facilities and by doing so is in violation of the Model code of Conduct West Bengal Panchayat Election Act, 2003 and Constitution of India,” stated TMC’s letter.
It further pointed out that it is not right of the Governor to question the role of the State Election Commission.
“The Governor is interdicting the election process by making unwarranted statements questioning the conduct of elections by the state election commission,” stated the TMC letter.
According to the TMC, governor made statements like “situation is very very disturbing” and “death knell of democracy should not ring in the hands of its custodians” while describing the situation in state.
TMC said that such comments questions the sanctity of the SEC.
They further complained that the way the Governor is collecting reports from BDOs and collecting information by talking to the police is not right and gross violation of the constitutional mandate wherein the State Election Commission is the body responsible for conducting panchayat elections.
“Governor is questioning the sanctity of the SEC and interfering in the election process by encroaching upon its jurisdiction by conducting independent inquiries from officials of BDO, collecting nomination details, questioning police officials on the law and order situation and setting up of an alleged control room at Raj Bhawan to purportedly oversee the election process,” stated the letter.
He alleged that the Governor is running a parallel government by favouring the BJP by conducting meetings and providing security to them without consulting the ruling party.
“Conducting meetings with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and Central Security Agency to provide for security arrangements for members of BJP without consulting with the State or the State Election Commission,” wrote TMC state Vice President Subrata Bakshi.
Trinamool Congress has also expressed dissatisfaction with the setup of a Control Room in the Raj Bhavan for the Panchayat Polls where common people can report their complaints.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Governor on Monday criticised the ongoing violence in Panchayat polls and said that the violence can be described as politics of “murder”, “intimidation” and of “muscle flexing”.
Ananda Bose who has been visiting various places where violence had earlier broken out in the state.
“My visit to the field has convinced me that there is violence in certain pockets of West Bengal. There is a manifestation of what is called the politics of murder, the politics of intimidation, the politics of muscle flexing,” he said.
Governor CV Ananda Bose said that his visits should not be construed as a “fault-finding mission” but a “fact-finding mission”.
“I am visiting the various places of occurrence of violence not as part of any fault-finding mission but as a fact-finding mission,” the West Bengal Governor said.
Taking care to point out that he is not doing anything that is beyond the mandate of a Governor, he said, “The statements made here will be within the Constitution of India and the Governor’s mandate.”
“My Constitutional colleagues have every right to exercise their duties freely, frankly and fearlessly and the Governor will not interfere in that. They will function independently,” he added.
West Bengal has seen several incidents of violence around the filing of nominations for the panchayat polls as well as after, including one where crude bombs were allegedly hurled at a Block Development Office (BDO) at Ahmadpur in Birbhum district.
A TMC worker was also allegedly beaten to death in the Malda district. The panchayat elections will be held in a single phase, with the counting of votes scheduled on July 11.
The polls are likely to see a fierce tussle for control of local administrations between the ruling TMC and the BJP and will be a litmus test for both parties ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections

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