With the West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) gearing up to hold elections in 110 civic bodies across the state, the BJP on Thursday sought deferment of municipal elections in Howrah and Kolkata, saying that “there is not enough time for campaigning”.
A BJP delegation led by senior party leader Mukul Roy met State Election Commissioner Sourav Das and demanded that sufficient time be given to political parties for campaigning by deferring the civic polls as board exams would continue till the end of March.
This comes amid reports that the Trinamool Congress government in the state has suggested the WBSEC to hold the elections to Howrah and Kolkata municipal corporations on April 12.
“We are ready to contest the municipal elections. But where is the time for campaigning? If elections take place on April 12 then we will get only 10 to 12 days for campaigning. This is nothing but a ploy of the state government to ensure that BJP does not get enough time to campaign,” Roy told mediapersons after meeting the State Election Commissioner.
Sources said that the BJP delegation cited that with the state secondary board exam continuing till February 27 and the higher secondary examination till March 27, they won’t be able to campaign as the Calcutta High Court has placed restrictions on the use of loudspeakers during the board examinations.
Roy said that the BJP has demanded that the election schedule when notified should be strictly adhered to.
The ruling Trinamool Congress slammed the BJP’s move, saying that the saffron party was “crying foul sensing its imminent defeat in the civic polls”.
“The entire state knows that the election to Kolkata Municipal Corporation and other civic bodies will be held in April. What were they doing for all these months? These are lame excuses on the face of their imminent defeat,” senior TMC leader and minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay told reporters.
The State Election Commission is likely to issue the notification for the civic bodies election by the second week of March. The state election commission has already held a meeting with the officials of North and South 24 Parganas and Howrah districts and directed them to complete the preparatory work for the civic polls.
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