Kolkata: Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee alleged on Sunday that state election commissioner A.K. Singh had acted “under the influence of the Bengal government” on declaring the fresh date for rural polls and it was equivalent to contempt of court.
“The court directed the state election commission to have meaningful discussions with stakeholders (political parties) before announcing dates for panchayat polls. But it is clear that announcement of a single day poll was made under the influence of the Bengal government and it amounts to contempt of court,” Chatterjee, a Supreme Court lawyer, told a news conference here.
On Monday, the high court is set to hear appeals from different Opposition parties over the election commission’s alleged violation of its earlier order. This is the second time that the expelled CPM leader addressed the media on the panchayat polls.
He was also critical of the Mamata Banerjee government approaching selective states for armed forces for the polls. “What is the basis of selection of few states that have been approached for additional armed forces for the rural polls? Why is the state not opting for central forces?” asked the 10-time parliamentarian.