(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Rural
(Current Based) Question:
The elections to local bodies are a state subject and, falls under the ambit of
the State Election Commission. Discuss in context of WB. (10 Marks/200 Words)
The state was a pioneer in local self-government, yet, the legitimacy of the
polls to panchayats has been undermined by the spectre of violence and
intimidation by the party in office in West Bengal .
There have been fewer murders in the run-up to the polls this year compared
to 2013 — a small consolation, given the fact that the opposition has retreated
from the public space.
This year, too, over 34 per cent of the seats had only Trinamool Congress (TMC)
candidates standing unopposed, and state opposition parties — the BJP and CPM —
moved court against the alleged excesses of the state government.
The Chief Justice of India has not ignored the fact that the local elections
seem to have become a display of muscle power and subversion by the ruling
It is clear that Chief Minister and the TMC, rather than change the political
dynamic set in place in West Bengal first by the Congress and later by the CPM,
has only adopted it.
The SC order is both a warning and an opportunity for the state government
and the SEC. These elections will be clearly watched, and the administration
must not allow subversion of the democratic process.
The Court has placed its trust on the SEC to ensure a peaceful transition of
office for representatives closest to the people. (Total Words- 220)
Valuable inputs from The Indian Express Editorials: ‘Time for a Break’
(Linkages: SEC and Election to local bodies, State Subject and Election to
local bodies, State Government and Display of Muscle Power)