Echoing the Left Front, Congress leader and MLA Manas Bhunia demanded a three- phase panchayat polls in West Bengal. He also demanded deployment of central paramilitary forces.
According to him, there are 59,000 polling both in rural Bengal. “Does the state forces have enough personnel to man these booths. The total strength of the state police forces is 76,000 and the number of armed police personnel is just 40,000.
The total number of gram panchayats is 48,642 as against 9,240 panchayat samitis and 625 zilla parishads,” he told reporters at Writers’ Buildings on Tuesday.
Bhunia is hoping the panchayat polls would be conducted either in the end of April or in the beginning of May.
“Unless elections are conducted in three phases under the supervision of central paramilitary forces, there cannot be free and fair elections,” he said.
“You all have seen what has happened over a college election at Garden Reach, where a police sub- inspector was killed. Panchayat polls would be more sensitive.
There are several sensitive booths in North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas and Murshidabad. We would request the state election commission to identify them and requisite adequate security measures,” the veteran Congress MLA told Hindustan Times.