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Monday, January 17, 2022

Petition in Calcutta High Court Planning civic polls in 2 phases: SEC

According to the state poll panel, the first phase will be held on January 22 for elections to municipal corporations of Howrah, Biddhannagar, Chandannagar, Asansol, and Siliguri.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
December 24, 2021 5:17:25 am
Explain why Nandigram case should go to SC: Calcutta HC to SuvenduIn the previous hearing, the court had directed the state election commission to disclose the tentative time schedule for conducting the elections to all the civic bodies.

The West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) on Thursday told the Calcutta High Court that it wants to conduct the election to the remaining civic bodies in the state in two phases.

According to the state poll panel, the first phase will be held on January 22 for elections to municipal corporations of Howrah, Biddhannagar, Chandannagar, Asansol, and Siliguri. The second phase will be held on February 27 for election to 109 municipalities, the SEC told the high court.

The submission was made before the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bhardwaj while hearing a petition filed by BJP. The BJP in its plea has sought High Court’s direction to the West Bengal government and the state poll panel to hold civic polls in the state in one phase.

In the previous hearing, the court had directed the state election commission to disclose the tentative time schedule for conducting the elections to all the civic bodies. The court has also asked the poll panel to hold the civic polls at the earliest with the least number of phases.

On the other hand, Advocate General SN Mookerjee, representing the state government, brought to the notice of the court that a Bill passed by the state Assembly recently amending the Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) Act to carve out Bally Municipality from the corporation was awaiting assent from Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

The Advocate General told the High Court that they had proceeded with the schedule on the assumption that the Bill would receive the Governor’s assent in time and accordingly separate dates were assigned for Howrah and Bally civic body polls. If the Governor’s assent was not received in time, then the election to the Howrah civic body will be excluded from the first phase. The matter will be taken up on January 6.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing the BJP told the bench that large-scale violence took place in during the KMC elections. The BJP urged the High Court to issue direction to preserve CCTV footage of all polling booths as well as the EVM machines used for the purpose of evidence. The court was also asked to ensure that diaries of polling officers are preserved.

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