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Will stick to Jan 22 civic poll schedule: SEC to Calcutta HC

A petition, seeking deferment of the civic polls, will be heard by a division bench on Tuesday. Quoting the affidavit, SEC sources said the commission had made it clear that postponement was not a possibility.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
January 11, 2022 6:43:40 am
Police declined to disclose the name of the BSP leader accused by Rana.

The January 22 civic polls to Asansol, Siliguri, Chandannagar and Bidhannagar would be held on their schedule, according to an affidavit filed by the State Election Commission (SEC) in the Calcutta Hight Court on Monday.

A petition, seeking deferment of the civic polls, will be heard by a division bench on Tuesday. Quoting the affidavit, SEC sources said the commission had made it clear that postponement was not a possibility.

SEC’s stance comes at a time when the state has been registering around 20,000 daily Covid cases on an average for the past few days.

SEC on Saturday prohibited an assembly of more than five people for poll campaigning. According to the poll panel, the four civic bodies have 2,078 polling booths, of which 1,020 are in Asansol, 468 in Bidhannagar, 421 in Siliguri and 169 in Chandannagar.

The Congress and BJP again objected to the civic polls in view of a high number of Covid cases.

State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “Covid protocols are not being obeyed at all in Bengal. Is it being obeyed by the Election Commission? Thousands are being affected every day… It is not the commission, it is the chief minister who has set her mind on conducting the elections in such a situation.”

Seconding Chowdhury, state BJP spokesperson Shameek Bhattacharya said, “We said postpone the polls for a month. What is the value of this election?… The rate of infection is very high in the state. Doctors and health workers are affected. In this situation, electing councillors is not more important than the human life.”

TMC leader Tapas Roy said, “Many people can say a lot. But even in extreme cases, voting has taken place for two years. It has happened in different states. So, it is the responsibility of the SEC to conduct the election properly or take a decision on postponement.”

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