"However, she was only partially successful in her efforts to establish the writ of the SEC in conducting and supervising the polls. "
Kolkata, July 16 - The opposition Left Front (LF) Wednesday accused the West Bengal government of violating administrative conventions in selecting state civil service officer S.R. Upadhyay as the new SEC.
The opposition claimed the Mamata Banerjee regime had lowered the dignity of the prestigious post of State Election Commissioner (SEC).
Upadhyay, the special secretary in the Raj Bhavan, will succeed Meera Pandey, who is slated to retire July 21, Home Secretary Basudeb Bandopadhyay said.
We notice with concern that the state government is violating administrative conventions in appointing a new State Election Commissioner. Such an appointment will only lower the dignity of the position of the State Election Commissioner, LF Chairman Biman Bose said in a statement.
He demanded the state government follow all rules and conventions in the appointment to the important post.
LF sources said so long the convention was to appoint a retired IAS officer to the post. But this is for the first time that a WBCS officer is being given appointment as State Election Commissioner.
The Banerjee government had a series of run-ins with Pandey in the run-up to the 2013 panchayat elections. Pandey even went to court seeking to establish the primacy of the SEC in deciding election dates, supervising the polls and arranging for security.
The judiciary mostly ruled in Pandey's favour, granting her plea for holding the polls by deploying central paramilitary troopers.
However, she was only partially successful in her efforts to establish the writ of the SEC in conducting and supervising the polls.
The absence of its own infrastructure prompted the SEC to be totally dependent on the state administrative machinery in the conduct of the polls, that also showed the poll body lacked teeth in enforcing its directives.