A tussle appeared to be brewing between the Election Commission and Left Front government in West Bengal with the poll panel on Friday rejecting the state authorities' refusal to give information on disqualification petitions against seven CPI(M) MPs, including Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, for allegedly holding offices of profit.
"The Election Commission has rejected the stand taken by the Government of West Bengal in the matter of providing information related to Office of Profit issue," EC said.
Dismissing the opinion given by the state Advocate General on the merits of the individual cases of the MPs as "totally irrelevant and being without jurisdiction", the EC told the state government to furnish the relevant information "latest by July 31, 2006".
The EC had last month sought certain details like the time from when the MPs had been holding the posts following petitions filed by Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy accusing the marxist MPs of holding offices of profit.
Reacting to the developments, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said EC had gone "beyond its brief by suo motu taking upon itself the role of the complainant and asking the West Bengal government to reply.
"We consider the whole procedure followed by the EC in this case as malafide", he said.