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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Mamata-SEC faceoff: 3 more districts to vote

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, March 26, 2013
First Published: 22:50 IST(26/3/2013) | Last Updated: 22:52 IST(26/3/2013)

The West Bengal government on Tuesday added North Dinajpur, Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts to its earlier list of three - Malda, Murshidabad and South Dinajpur - districts that would vote on April 30. Elections in the rest of the 11 districts are to be held on April 26.

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Chief minister Mamata Banerjee's big plan to schedule two-phase panchayat elections and then put Congress-dominated three districts in phase II on April 30, with the rest 14 going to polls in Phase I, had not gone down well with the State Election Commission (SEC).

Also, the state government's move to depute only 'armed police' for security irked the SEC such that state election commissioner Mira Pande met governor MK Narayanan on Tuesday.

Though Pande just said, "I told the governor what I had to say", SEC officials said earmarking of the three Congress-dominated districts for a separate day made it a politically driven decision that SEC could not be a party to.


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