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In Photo: Left workers gherao the BDO Naxalbari over the delay in forming new panchayati boards. 

By Our Newsmen

Kolkata / Siliguri, 28 October: THE Bengal panchayat department has issued the gazette notification for formation of newly elected boards in the three-tier Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad.

The notification has been issued early this afternoon by an officer who is acting as the state’s commissioner of panchayats. This is because the panchayats commissioner, Arup Saha, is now on a temporary deputation to the Election Commission of India as poll observer.

Along with the gazette notification, the panchayat department has also issued a letter to the Darjeeling magistrate advising him a schedule for the formation of the new panchayati boards in Siliguri. Going by the schedule, the DM now has 21 days to complete the formation of new boards at the gram panchayats, panchayat samitis and the Mahakuma Parishad.

The notification came on a day the Left workers held demonstrations at the BDO offices at Naxalbari, Phansidewa, Khoribari and Matigara against the “deliberate delay by the Trinamool led state government” in the formation of new panchayati boards. They also gheraoed the BDOs demanding early formation of new boards.

In Siliguri town, Left parties took out a rally led by senior CPI-M leader and Siliguri Mayor Asok Bhattacharya and they served a memorandum to the Siliguri SDO office.  Leader of the Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra also today sent a letter to the State Election Commission expressing dismay over the inordinate delay.

The Left have been alleging that the process of forming new panchayati boards was being delayed to give the Trinamool Congress time for horse-trading as the Left have won majority of the panchayati seats.

Elections to the three-tier Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad were held on 03 October and the results were declared on 07 October. In the polls, the Left have won a majority at the Mahakuma Parishad, in three out of the four panchayat samitis and in most of the 22 gram panchayats.