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States » East

Bengal Governor gets updates on coming Municipal Elections

Kolkata, Feb 27 (UNI) West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was today updated
on the coming Municipal Elections from State Election Commissioner Saurabh Kumar
He was also accompanied by Secretary of the Commission Nilanjan Sandilya.
This was at the instance of Mr Dhankhar so as to ensure peaceful, orderly and fair
polls in the upcoming local elections.
State Election Commissioner Saurabh Kumar Das informed Mr Dhankhar that by
second week of March Grievance Management System would be put in place.
A meeting of the State Commission with the District Magistrates is slated for March 4.
Mr Dhankhar emphasised that State Election Commission that as a constitutional body
it is obligated to provide a level-playing field to all parties and candidates and ensure
free and fair elections where voters exercise their valuable right of vote freely.
Mr Dhankhar indicated to State Election Commissioner Saurabh Kumar Das that all
steps need to be taken to ensure that there is no violence and kind of scenario noticed
in the Panchayat elections held in the in May 2018. The polls then were reportedly hit
with widespread violence.
The State Election Commissioner Saurabh Kumar Das was also requested to inform
the Governor Dhankhar as regards all steps taken under Article 243(3) of the Constitution.
Mr Dhankhar focused that free and fair election giving all parties equal opportunities is
at the heart of Democracy in its true spirit.
He underlined that Constitutionally the State Election Commission under Article 243K
has all the powers that Election Commission of India has under Article 324 of the
Constitution. This power invests it with the authority and competence to ensure that one
party doesn’t have an undue advantage over another just because it is in power.
Mr Dhankhar conveyed to State Election Commissioner Saurabh Kumar Das that he
needs to bear in mind that State Election Commission like the Election Commission of
India is the de facto boss of the bureaucracy and may in required situations take recourse
even to transferring officials in the interest of ensuring fair and peaceful polls. A prior
engagement with the administrative and police heads concerned would be wholesome
and productive.
Adverting to the inputs he has received, Dhankhar called upon State Election Commissioner
to ensure level-playing field to all as it is fundamental and non negotiable. The State Election Commission must take all steps to dispel fears and impressions that it is an extension of the Government and must engage in dialogue with all stake holders.
The Governor urged all concerned including Media and authorities to be even handed.
State Election Commission need to flag the issue to police and administrative authorities
that any partisan approach would invite exemplary consequences.
Mr Dhankhar called upon voters to exercise their right to vote fairly and fearlessly as
casing a vote is Fundamental to success and quality of democratic governance.
The Governor expressed hope that timely precautionary steps by the State Election
Commissioner would prevent unwholesome scenario and instil confidence in the electorate.
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