The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Centre and West Bengal government to provide adequate security personnel for the upcoming panchayat polls in the state and also rescheduled the dates for the elections.
A vacation bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik asked the state election commission to conduct the exercise in five phases, starting July 11.
The poll was earlier scheduled in three phases from July 2. SC fixed July 11, 15, 19, 22 and 25 for holding the elections.
The bench further directed the State to provide on an average 35,000 security personnel for each phase of the election. The rest would be provided by the Centre. The court’s order came on state election commission’s petition seeking the court’s intervention to provide adequate security personnel to hold the panchayat polls. The commission had contended it wasn’t possible to hold violence-free polls in the prevailing circumstances and in the absence of security personnel.
Following differences between the state government and the state election commission, the latter went to court seeking a three-phase election and 800 companies of central forces.