With the ball now in the Supreme Court, panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee launched a tirade against the State Election Commission (SEC) and the opposition CPI(M) and Congress on Wednesday alleging a joint conspiracy to stall the election process. “There has been no affidavit or hard copy on behalf of the SEC. We are not sure what they want. Elections are already underway with postal ballot commencing from Wednesday. Under such circumstances, the SEC approached the Supreme Court. The CPI(M) and Congress, which do not want elections, are conspiring to postpone them,” said Mukherjee, soon after the poll body approached the apex court to end the impasse over lack of adequate security personnel.
Mukherjee added the SEC’s decision to approach Supreme Court is unprecedented and in bad taste. “The SEC could have approached Supreme Court after listening to the high court verdict. But they did not bother to do so. There is no problem with security arrangements,” Mukherjee said.
The panchayat minister said the state was going ahead with security arrangements keeping in mind that polls might be split into four phases. On Tuesday, the government proposed polls for Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore on July 2; North and South 24-Parganas, Burdwan, Howrah, Hooghly and East Midnapore on July 4; Nadia, Malda, Mushidabad and Birbhum on July 6, and North and South Dinajpur, Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri on June 9. This was in response to the high court’s proposal that polls be conducted in five phases.