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WBSEC confronts state government over poll dates announcement

5/19/2015 5:14:03 PM

Soumitra Nandi
The State Election Commission on Monday directly went into confrontation with the state government by deciding to bring out notification announcing the poll dates in the seven municipalities in Bengal on May 20th. The decision was convened by the commission after an all party meeting at the SEC’s office on Monday. 

The date clashed with the same date when the state government moved the Supreme Court after the Calcutta High Court recently declined its plea for more time and the modification of the scheduled issued by the SEC. 

Armed with the order of the Calcutta High Court on Friday that the SEC should complete elections in the seven municipalities by June 16, the commission announced that polling will be held on June 14 and counting on 16th. 

These seven civic bodies are Asansol Municipal Corporation, Kulti Municipality, Raniganj Municipality, Jamuria Municipality, Bidhannagar Municipality, Rajarhat-Gopalpur Municipality and Bally Municipality.
Meanwhile,  the  Supreme Court accepted the state’s plea and  will hear on Tuesday the Bengal  government`s plea seeking more time to hold elections to seven municipal bodies which could not go to the polls along with 91 others in April.

The apex court vacation bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit on Monday agreed to hear the plea by the West Bengal government on Tuesday after senior Kapil Sibal mentioned the matter for an early hearing.

Seeking the modification of the state Election Commission`s poll schedule for seven municipal bodies, Sibal told the court that the state government wanted some more time to hold the elections as it has plans to upgrade the municipalities into corporations.  

Sources in the commission said that earlier they had sent three letters to the state government regarding holding of elections in these municipalities. But the state has not responded. They had also written to the state government on Monday along with the Calcutta High Court’s order that they will be holding elections on June 14 and the counting on June 16. 

Though the ruling party on Monday objected to the commission’s announcing the poll dates but the commission stuck to its standpoint and went on with the election process.  CPIM, BJP and Congress who were also present at the all party meeting welcomed the commission’s move. 


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