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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Decision on Bengal poll dates on April 1

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, March 29, 2013
First Published: 23:06 IST(29/3/2013) | Last Updated: 01:18 IST(30/3/2013)

Will the state election commission notify the panchayat polls by Monday? The West Bengal government is keeping its fingers crossed.

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The imbroglio over the deployment of Central forces during the polls is about to reach a crisis, with both the government and the election commission sticking to their stands. 

The government, which is vehemently against it, is expected to clarify its position on Monday. The commission insists on the presence of the forces for free and fair polls. If it refuses to bend, it is possible that the polls - due on April 26 and 30 - will be postponed.

Election commissioner Mira Pandey has already consulted senior advocate Samaraditya Pal, triggering speculations about the commission going to court.

On Friday, panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee was summoned by Governor MK Narayanan. Later, senior leaders of Trinamool Congress held a meeting.

A flurry of accusations - including conspiracy - poured in against the commission.

"I hope good sense prevails and the polls are conducted on the due date," said Mukul Roy, the party's all India general secretary, after the meeting.

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