Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed the West Bengal government and the State Election Commission (SEC) to inform it by next Monday about plans of conducting polls in all municipality bodies.
Even though the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) election is due on December 19, the BJP had moved the Calcutta High Court seeking permission to hold all the polls of the civic bodies in a single phase.
Notably, ever since the date of KMC polls was announced, political slugfest between BJP and TMC over conducting the polls remained unabated.
A division bench of Calcutta High Court comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R Bharadwaj directed the SEC and the Trinamool Congress government to elaborate their plans to hold elections of the other municipal bodies by December 6, and the next hearing is also scheduled on that date.
It is pertinent to mention that the BJP claimed that to conduct ‘free and fair’ election, conducting of polls at all bodies is necessary.
BJP West Bengal chief Sukanta Majumdar was heard claiming that just to ‘gain political' mileage, the TMC is holding KMC polls separately.
Initially, along with KMC, the state government had planned to hold Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) polls but since the Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar didn’t sign for which holding HMC polls has been deferred.
Meanwhile, at a time when the saffron camp visited SEC office on Tuesday to demand central forces during the polls, SEC had implemented CrPc 144 to be imposed from 200 metres in all booths on the day of Kolkata Municipal Corporation election scheduled on December 19.
According to Election Commission sources, not even West Bengal ministers and their security personnel will be allowed within 200 metres of the booths on the polling day.“Incidents of violence were reported during the Assembly polls and just to avoid any untoward incident the Election Commission had taken such a measure,” said Election Commission sources.