The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday put a stay on the State Election Commission’s (SEC) order that allowed parties to use loudspeakers after April 2 — while Board exams will be on in the state — to campaign for the municipal elections.
The NGT said in its order that the use of loudspeakers will be guided by the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules-2000.
While elections to KMC will be held on April 18, the municipalities across the state will vote on April 25. While Madhayamik, Higher Secondary and ICSE exams will be over by then, CBSE Class XII exams will continue till April 20.
Confirming the order, State Election Commissioner Susanta Ranjan Upadhyaya said, “I have sent a letter informing about the court order to all the DMs, SPs and to the DG and the CP.”
Meanwhile, sources at the state secretariat said secretary in the state Home Department, Basudeb Banerjee, has written to the SEC (Upadhyaya), informing that three companies of armed forces will be available for the civic polls and that they will be brought from the hills and not Junglemahal.
The letter comes after Upadhyaya wrote to Banerjee enquiring about the availability of central forces.
At a press conference earlier in the day, Upadhyaya had said: “I will fax and email a letter to the home secretary asking how much of the Central forces which have been deployed in different districts, could be used during the poll days. Specifically speaking, of the 40 companies which are available in different districts, if they could be moved within the respective districts, and how much of the eight companies deployed at Darjeeling could be brought to Kolkata for route marching, especially in areas such as Metiabruz and Cossipore.”
He added that he has written a “stern letter” to Kolkata Commissioner of Police, Surajit Kar Purakayastha, asking about the actions taken in connection with the recent poll violence at Metiabruz. “I had written a letter on the same issue before as well but received no reply,” he said. Fate of 1,077 candidates spread across the city’s 144 wards will be decided by 37,42,019 electors in the KMC polls.