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May 13, 2013 at 09:34am IST

WB panchayat polls: Government to file appeal against HC verdict

Kolkata: West Bengal government will on Monday file a fresh appeal to a higher bench against an old judgement that upheld the supremacy of state election commission while conducting Panchayat polls.

The crucial rural polls are slated in June this year. In a setback to the state government, the Calcutta High Court had Friday directed that these elections would be held in three phases using central armed forces on dates decided by the State Election Commission and had observed that primacy of the Commission was not negotiable.

Congress Committee (WBPCC) president Pradip Bhattacharya alleged that the state government wants to delay the rural polls by challenging the Calcutta High Court order in a division bench. "If the state government really wants to hold panchayat elections early, then why is it going to the division bench of the High Court against the decision of the single bench to hold the polls in June," Bhattacharya wondered at press conference.

WB panchayat polls: Govt to file appeal against HC verdict

The HC had directed the polls would be held in three phases using central armed forces on dates decided by the State Election Commission.

"Probably the Trinamool Congress government is afraid that it will lose the panchayat elections if it is held in June due to the chit fund scam. So they want to delay holding the panchayat polls by going to the division bench of the high court and to the Supreme Court," the WBPCC chief.

He also alleged that the Mamata Banerjee government is against the CBI probe into the chit fund scam as many senior leaders and ministers in the Trinamool Congress are involved in it. If a CBI probe is conducted, then the TMC leaders and ministers would be exposed, so they are against the CBI investigation into the chit fund scam, he alleged.

Expressing scepticism over Mamata Banerjee government's intention to hold panchayat polls, CPI(M) said Trinamool Congress had lost its support base it had in 2011. "Now when both the state Panchayat and the Law Ministers have said the state government will challenge the High Court's order in a division bench and then again, if things go otherwise, approach the Supreme Court, it is evident that the Trinamool Congress does not want to hold rural polls at all," Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Surjya Kanta Mishra said.

(With Additional Inputs From PTI)