The Telegraph
Tuesday , December 4 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mamata signals poll thrust

Purulia (Bengal), Dec. 3: Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today hinted that panchayat polls would be held on schedule “in the next few months”.

Addressing a public rally at Purulia district’s Hutmura, Mamata told the gathering of Trinamul supporters to elect “people’s panchayat”.

“The panchayat polls would be held in the next few months. Work hard to get the people’s panchayat elected. Say no to the panchayat of goons, harmads and the corrupt. We won’t allow the reign of terror to come back,” Mamata said addressing a 10,000-strong crowd of Trinamul Congress supporters at the public rally, held after her administrative meeting with the officials of Purulia district.

Mamata had first indicated early panchayat polls, during her annual rally on July 21.

The state government had written to the state election commission with the request holding the polls in end-January.

The state election panel, however, raised doubts on completing the spadework required for holding elections, like revision of electoral rolls, ad turned down the request.

In 2008, the panchayat polls were held in May. Though, Mamata was keen on holding early elections, it appears now that she has accepted the objections raised by the state election commission.

“Holding the polls early would not have helped as the new rural bodies cannot take charge till May 2013, when the term of the existing panchayats’ end. Early elections would have led to more confusion,” a senior Trinamul leader said.

In the 50-minutes that she spoke at the Hutmura school ground, around 15-km from Purulia town, Mamata focused on promises to the rural voters.