West Bengal Election Commissioner resigns
Kolkata: Apparently under pressure from political parties in the wake of violence-marred civic polls, West Bengal State Election Commissioner S R Upadhyay today resigned even as counting of ballots is yet to be taken up.
Upadhyay submitted the resignation to Governor K N Tripathi at the Raj Bhavan.
"He (Upadhyay)came to me at about quarter to four and he handed over his resignation. I received the resignation. He pressed for it and I have sent the resignation for the comment of the government. I am yet to receive the views of the government at this stage," Governor told reporters here on the sidelines of a programme here.
Asked whether he asked Upadhyay not to resign, Tripathi replied in the negative.
To a question whether the resignation was unfortunate, the Governor said "You can make your own comment. I should not give my comment on it. He (Upadhyay) has resigned and that is a fact."
On violence during the civic polling on October 3, he said "if any one has grievance, there are remedies. It is not appropriate for me to comment on it."
Upadhyay came under criticism from both ruling Trinamool Congress as well as opposition parties in the wake of Saturday's civic polls to Bidhannagar and Asansol which were marred by violence and malpractices.
Opposition parties, including CPI(M)-led Left Front, BJP and the Congress have demanded fresh elections to Bidhannagar, Asansol and Bally under Howrah Municipal Corporation while Trinamool Congress demanded counting of votes on October 7 as scheduled.
Under mounting pressure, SEC had at first postponed the date of counting on Sunday but yesterday decided to hold the exercise on October 9.
TMC had staged a dharna in the Commission's office yesterday in which two state ministers Partha Chaterjee and Subrata Mukherjee and city Mayor Sovan Chatterjee demanded counting of ballots on October 7.
Earlier, BJP and Left parties had staged dharnas in the Commission's office demanding fresh polls.
Disapproving dharnas by political parties in the Commission's office, Upadhyay had said that "in the history of Election Commission, I have never heard of such protests like this."
"Nobody should try to mould the decision of the Commission by his or her behaviour", he had added.