Monday, June 17, 2024

Bengal Guv refuses to accept Rajiva Sinha’s joining letter as SEC

In a late evening development, the office of West Bengal Governor C.V. Ananda Bose refused to accept the joining letter of Rajiva Sinha as the State Election Commissioner (SEC), and instead sent back the same and the related files to the state secretariat.

Raj Bhavan sources said that the Governor has taken strong objection to Sinha’s refusal to honour the summon from the Governor’s House on June 17 for discussion on the reports of violent clashes during the nomination filing for the July 8 panchayat polls in West Bengal.

Instead, Sinha informed the Raj Bhavan about his inability to reach the Governor’s House because of his busy schedule in the backdrop of the nomination filing process.

Now with the Governor refusing to accept Sinha’s joining letter and related files and sending them back to the state secretariat, uncertainties surround as to whether Sinha will ultimately be able to continue in the chair of the SEC.

In case if he needs to be replaced, there is every possibility that the panchayat polls will have to be postponed.

Incidentally, a division bench of Calcutta High Court’s Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam had on Wednesday advised Sinha to quit his chair if he is unable to bear the pressure of his position.

“In that case, the Governor will appoint someone else for the chair,” Justice Sivagnanam observed.

The division bench also criticised the State Election Commission in unprecedented terms and even questioned the neutrality of the poll panel.

“After so many developments, I am bound to say that the question remains on the neutrality of the State Election Commission. This is most unfortunate that a contempt of court petition has been filed against the SEC. I request to follow the court order as it is,” Justice Sivagnanam observed.

20230622-002003

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