The West Bengal Election Commission on Saturday announced that an all-party meeting will be held on June 13 where the prevailing law and order situation in the state would be discussed. The meeting will be chaired by State Election Commissioner Rajiva Sinha.
The development comes amid questions being raised over the law and order in Murshidabad where the situation remains tense over the alleged murder of a Congress worker in Khargram.
The EC said it will hear grievances regarding the upcoming panchayat polls. However, the announcement got cold responses from the political parties citing the timing.
"All political parties have been invited to the meeting scheduled on Tuesday. There will be discussions on the law and order situation in the state. We would also like to hear the grievances and demands of the political parties," an EC official said.
BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said that with June 15 being the last date for filing nominations, this meeting would yield no results.
"They should have called the meeting before the date of the elections was announced. With June 15 being the last date for filing nominations, I do not see any ways to implement the suggestions that the opposition parties would provide at the meeting," he told PTI.
Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty also said that the meeting should have been convened before the election dates were announced.
"As per the practice, the all-party meeting is called before the dates of the election are decided. The SEC will have to face tough questions as it is not prepared to hold the elections. Mr Sinha has become the commissioner to spoil the entire poll process," he alleged.
Welcoming the announcement, the ruling TMC said it was a good initiative by the state poll panel.
"This is a good initiative. Whatever the opposition parties are saying is nothing but lame excuses as they are not in a position even to name candidates for the panchayat elections," he said.
The polling for around 75,000 seats of the three-tier Panchayati Raj system, comprising Zilla Parishads, Panchayat Samitis and Gram Panchayats, will be held on July 8.
(With PTI input)