Published On: Sat, Mar 20th, 2021

EC restrains role of Municipal Corporation administrators in Bengal whose terms have ended

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday “temporarily restrained” the involvement of political appointees holding the office of administrators in the Municipal Corporations in the poll-bound West Bengal whose terms have ended.

The commission further stressed for the compliance of the order by 10 am on March 22

The restriction will be imposed till the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is in force. The order will be effective from 10 am on March 22.

These political appointees include those who are holding the office of administrators, head of board of administrators in the Municipal Corporations of West Bengal on appointment basis even after the end of their elected term. They will be barred from participating or exercising in the functions of the board.

The commission further directed a committee headed by Chief Secretary of West Bengal, Principal Secretary Urban Development and Principal Secretary Personnel to appoint the government officials to discharge the functions of the administrators, head of board of administrator during the MCC.

The appointment, however, will be as per the commission’s instruction issued on December 18 last year.

The poll panel also directed the Chief Secretary to ensure a level playing field in all other Municipal Bodies in West Bengal by rigorous reviews of their decisions which can disturb the level playing field.

The commission further stressed for the compliance of the order by 10 a.m. on March 22.

The top election body explained, saying the order has been issued to “avoid a situation where critical functions of urban local bodies are actually discharged and thereby affecting level playing field during the operation of MCC or has potential or to a legitimate apprehension in the mind of the voters about the fairness and impartiality of the election process”.

The MCC was imposed soon after the commission announced the date of Assembly polls in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry earlier this month.

The polling will be held in West Bengal in eight phases to elect 294 members for the state legislative Assembly. The polling is slated in West Bengal on March 27, April 1, April 6, April 10, April 17, April 22, April 26 and April 29.

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