Bengal rural polls: SC to hear NGO plea to reschedule dates

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea filed by an NGO — Progressive Youth Foundation

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:July 2, 2013 4:05 am

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea filed by an NGO — Progressive Youth Foundation — to once again the reschedule the panchayat elections in West Bengal as it coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramzan,which is likely to begin on July 10.

On Friday,a Supreme Court Bench of Justice A K Patnaik and Justice Ranjan Gogoi had ordered holding of the panchayat polls in five phases beginning July 11 and ending July 25.

After hearing the plea of the NGO,which cited that Bengal has a substantial Muslim population and holding of elections during Ramzan would affect the community,a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir directed the matter to be listed for Tuesday’s hearing.

It also directed that the Bench of Justice Patnaik and Gogoi,which had resolved the stand-off between the state government and the state poll panel over holding panchayat elections,will hear the NGO’s plea.

The Mamata Banerjee-led government of West Bengal,which had objected to polls being held during the Muslim holy month,is also likely to move a review petition of Friday’s order tomorrow,state government counsel Kalyan Banerjee said.

Sources said the state government will push for wrapping up the polling by July 10 and for which the state would provide 50,000 security personnel for election duty.

On June 28,the Supreme Court bench had pushed the first day of the polling from July 2 to July 11 saying it may not be possible to deploy forces in such a short time.

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