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4 civic bodies to go to polls on Jan 22: SEC

The commission did not mention poll dates for Howrah Municipal Corporation, amid an ongoing tussle between the TMC government and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar over a Bill seeking its bifurcation.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
December 28, 2021 5:57:58 am
SEC chief Sourav Das at a press conference Monday. (Photo: Partha Paul)

THE WEST Bengal State Election Commission (SEC) on Monday announced that polls to four municipal corporations — Siliguri, Chandannagar, Bidhannagar, Asansol — would be held on January 22.

The commission did not mention poll dates for Howrah Municipal Corporation, amid an ongoing tussle between the TMC government and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar over a Bill seeking its bifurcation.

“This (January 22 polls) will be the second phase of civic elections in West Bengal. The counting of votes will be held on January 25,” State Election Commissioner Sourav Das told mediapersons on Monday. Elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation were held on December 19.

Das also pointed out that the poll notification would be published on Tuesday and within that period if the state government gives the go-ahead in the matter of Howrah Municipal Corporation, the election to the civic body would also be included in this phase.

The state government wanted to carve out 16 wards of the erstwhile Bally Municipality out of Howrah Municipal Corporation, and a Bill in this regard was passed in the Assembly. However, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar is yet to give his assent to the Bill.

“On elections to Howrah municipality, the state government has not told us anything yet. If they inform us, we will include accordingly,” said the state poll panel chief.

The Governor on Sunday said that he had on November 24 sent back the Howrah bifurcation Bill to the state government with a number of queries for which “clarifications have not been provided thus far.”

In 2015, the state government had decided to dissolve Bally municipality and 16 wards of this municipality were included with those of Howrah Municipal Corporation. A bill was passed then and the number of wards of Howrah Municipal Corporation increased from 50 to 66.

Das said on Monday that plans for security arrangements during the civic polls would be decided after January 4. On that day, the commission will convene a meeting on law and order with the state administration. Das said, “Like the Kolkata municipal election, all booths will be covered by CCTV cameras and the electoral roll will be adopted as per published list of the Central Election Commission of India.” Nomination filing will commence on December 28.

“The last date for submitting nomination is January 3. January 6 has been fixed as the last date for withdrawing the nominations,” Das told mediapersons.

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