Language Barrier Cropping Employees For West Bengal Panchayat Election

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Kolkata: With notices having started reaching different Central government offices for engaging its employees to conduct the forthcoming Panchayat polls, the issue of “language-barrier” has started cropping up, with most employees having a “non-Bengali” background.

According to the sources in the State Election Commission (SEC), directives have been given to engage Central government employees to conduct the Panchayat polls. The Central government employees of all ranks would be required to get involved in the election process, apart from the state government employees.

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The issue related to the “language barrier” has cropped up as most officials in the Central government offices are from non-Bengali backgrounds and hence, they would face trouble in communicating properly with people in the grassroot level, in the rural parts of the state.

In a bid to conduct the Panchayat polls, the officials need to visit different villages of the state, where they would have no other option apart from speaking in the local language. Communicating in local language will also be essential to make the people from the area understand what they actually have to convey.

An official of the SEC, however, stated that it is a regular process as both state and Central government employees were earlier involved to conduct Panchayat elections. Accordingly, orders have been issued in this connection as usual and there is no such exemption in the set norms for the Central government employees.

The district magistrates play a major role in preparing the list of the manpower needed to conduct the polls. The SEC has held meetings with district magistrates and superintendents of police of all the districts in March, in connection with the Panchayat polls.

It may be mentioned that the elections will be held on May 1, 3 and 5. The process of filing nomination has already started from April 2 and it will continue till April 9. The last date of withdrawal of candidature is April 16. The districts where the election will be held in the first phase, include all the South Bengal districts, apart from Murshidabad and Birbhum.

Polls in these two districts will be held on May 3, while the same in the North Bengal districts, starting from Malda to Cooch Behar, will be held on May 5.

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