The State Election Commission (SEC) has finally moved Calcutta high court against the Mamata Banerjee administration, capping days of tug-of-war and nerve games between the government and the poll panel over when and how the panchayat polls should be conducted.
According to sources, the SEC has prayed to the court to cancel the notification issued by the state government.
The notification announced last week said Polls would be held in two phases, on April 26 and April 30.
While the government wants to hold the polls on these two dates and with state police, SEC wants a three-phase poll under security cover by central paramilitary forces.
SEC has also prayed to the court to direct the government to consult the SEC and finalise dates of the West Bengal panchayat polls.
West Bengal Panchayat Act allows the government to announce panchayat poll dates, but after consultation with the SEC. The SEC has stated that the dates were not announced after consultation with the SEC and therefore, the notification must be annulled.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee with children during a rally in Bankura. PTI Photo
Over the past few weeks, Trinamool Congress leaders have publicly attacked the SEC and the commissioner Mira Pandey, even alleging that Pandey was acting at the behest of the political opponents of the ruling party.
The SEC and the panchayat department has exchanged a flurry of letters over the issue but failed to break the deadlock.