With just one day allocated to filing of nominations, the Opposition is gearing up to get their candidates in the four-hour window starting 11 am on Monday under “ruling party’s terror”. According to the BJP, about 7,000 to 8,000 of its candidates will be filing their nominations. “If our candidates are not prevented by ruling party workers, then about seven to eight thousands of BJP candidates will file their nominations tomorrow,” state BJP vice-president Joy Prakash Majumdar told The Indian Express.
The Congress was apprehensive though. “There are thousands of Opposition candidates who could not file their nominations earlier due to ruling party terror. One day is not enough to file all these nominations and that too in just four hours,” said state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury.
The CPM said that they will try to file as many nominations as possible on Monday. “Our workers will try their best to file nominations tomorrow. We are still apprehensive about the environment regarding the filing of nominations because of our previous experience. We expect that the state government and state election commission will take necessary steps to conduct the nomination process peacefully,” a senior CPM leader said.
Meanwhile, a state BJP delegation met state election commissioner A K Singh on Sunday and asked him to declare rescheduled panchayat poll dates as soon as possible in accordance with the Calcutta High Court order. The state election commission extended the nomination deadline after consulting with all parties on Saturday. The Calcutta High Court had ordered new dates after Opposition parties approached it calling attention to the poll body’s u-turn in extending a deadline and the violence that prevented many of its candidates from filing their nominations.
The dates for the three-phase polls, which were earlier scheduled for May 1, 3 and 5, have, however, not been declared. Scrutiny of the nominations received on Monday will be held on April 25 and the last date for the withdrawal of candidature is April 28, the notification said.
Till the previous nomination deadline on April 9, the TMC had filed total 72,884 nominations while the BJP had filed 34,507 nominations for three-tier panchayat polls. CPM had filed 22,102 nominations in total while the Congress has filed total 9,262 nominations. There are 58,692 seats in the three-tier panchayat system in the state.