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Conduct panchayat polls in three-phases, urges Left

Posted on Jan 30, 09:25AM | UNI

Kolkata, Jan 29 : Apprehending violence and intimidation by the ruling Trinamool Congress, the Opposition Left Front in West Bengal today demanded that the coming Panchayat elections in the state be conducted in three phases

'In 2008 panchayat elections, it was a three-phased poll

The 2009 Lok Sabha polls were also held in three phases. The 2011 Assembly polls were also held in five phases- and the last elections - polls were held in five phases. For Lok Sabha, only 42 seats were contested, for the assembly it's 294. Here the elections will be held in over 50,000 polling booths,' Front Chairman Biman Basu told reporters after a Left Front meeting

The Front has been alleging that unfair practices may take place if the three-tier panchayat polls are held in a single phase. It has also alleged that some Trinamool leaders, including Ministers have been making provocative statements

Mr Basu said apart from the security aspect, the coming Panchayat election was different from the previous ones in terms of the number of candidates

"This time, the number of panchayat seats has increased and so has the number of candidates. Deployment of security personnel on such a large scale on a single day is not possible," he said

The Front Chairman also argued that since panchayat polls would be held through ballot papers, and not through electronic voting machines, it would be a time consuming affairs

"Considering all these ground realities and the threat perception, we want the Election Commission (EC) to take a realistic decision," he said