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West Bengal: Govt asks poll panel to use ballot papers in municipal polls

The State Election Commission, which is yet to decide on it, will take the call on February 10, sources said.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: January 23, 2020 5:59:16 am
west bengal municipal elections, bengal municipal polls, ballot paper, evm, west bengal news The panchayat elections in the state were earlier held through ballot papers. (File)

The Trinamool Congress government in the state, which has opposed the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), has asked the State Election Commission (SEC) to hold the upcoming municipal polls in the state through ballot paper. The SEC, which is yet to decide on it, will take the call on February 10, sources said.

“It is a policy decision already taken by CM Mamata Banerjee to hold the elections through ballot paper. The Chief Minister had conveyed the decision to the Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Department and accordingly, we sent a proposal to the State Election Commission. Now, it is their turn to take a decision on it,” said a senior official of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Department.

A senior official of the SEC said that the poll panel has no problem in using ballot papers in the civic polls. “After February 10, we will publish the final list of the reserved civic bodies. After that we will take a final call on election schedule and whether the election will be held through ballot papers or EVMS. But we have otherwise no problem to conduct the election through ballot papers.”

The panchayat elections in the state were earlier held through ballot papers.

The state government had earlier asked the SEC to not hold the elections during Ramzan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims.

The SEC is planning to hold the civic elections by the middle of April.

A total of 110 civic bodies will go to polls this year.

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