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Left takes rural poll concern to governor

Calcutta, Sept. 27: Leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra today said he had urged governor M.K. Narayanan to consult legal experts and ask the Centre to clarify whether the panchayat polls could be brought forward by the Trinamul government.

The CPM politburo member said he made the request in the wake of reports that the state government was trying to advance the rural elections from May to January next year.

A Left Front delegation met Narayanan this morning to express the combine’s concern over the possible advancement of the polls. The team also spoke on issues such as law and order.

Addressing elected panchayat representatives of the Left at a Mayo Road gathering after the meeting, Mishra said: “The Trinamul government is planning to advance the panchayat elections to January. The party is in a big hurry to hold the elections at the earliest. It believes that the sooner the polls, the better will be its electoral prospects. I have requested the governor to talk to legal experts and also to the Centre to find out if the polls can be advanced.’’

According to the leader of the Opposition, Trinamul is wary of possible anti-incumbency stemming from people’s “growing disenchantment’’ with the government because of its “anti-people policies’’.

“Trinamul is losing popularity because of its anti-people policies,’’ Mishra said.

He asked the gathering to begin preparations for the polls “despite Trinamul anarchy’’.

Electoral roll plea

Chief secretary Samar Ghosh today wrote to the Election Commission of India requesting that its electoral roll revision process in Bengal be put on hold till February because the state government wanted to conduct the panchayat elections before that.

“If the revision process takes place on schedule, a large number of officers will have to participate in it. These officers would, therefore, be unavailable for the panchayat polls,” a state poll panel source said.