Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Calcutta HC orders new panchayat poll dates: Opposition parties celebrate 'historic' judgment

The opposition BJP CPI-M Congress and PDS had moved the court accusing the Trinamool of unleashing massive pre-poll violence against their party workers to prevent them from filing nominations for the polls ever since the process began on April 2 West Bengal Panchayat Elections to be Rescheduled, Calcutta High Court Orders SEC to Announce New Dates
Deanna Wagner | 21 April, 2018, 03:47

The last date for filing nominations was April 9 then. BJP filed about 35,000 nominations, CPM 22,000 and the Congress even less. Chowdhury said "people must be happy with what the court has directed".

"We want elections as soon as possible".

"We also want that the elections are held in a peaceful manner". The state has 30 per cent Muslims. We were in favour of polls. It is nearly certain that panchayat election in West Bengal will not to be held as scheduled.

The commission and the ruling Trinamool Congress opposed the petitions claiming that these were not maintainable since the election process had started. Ms Banerjee has been trying to forge a united front against the NDA government at the Centre.

The decision comes as a major blow to the West Bengal government and the Trinamool Congress.

Kalyan Banerjee, Trinamool lawmaker who represented the government in court, claimed it wasn't so.

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Emphatic over the victory BJP lawyer Pratap Banerjee, showing victory sign, said, "Today's verdict is historic". The opposition parties in Bengal had moved court after large-scale violence in Bengal by the ruling party during filing of nomination papers and State Election Commission retracted on extension of nomination filing date.

Justice Talukdar also lifted the stay on the election process, while directing the fine of Rs 5 lakh imposed on the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party for "forum hopping" by moving to the High Court and the Supreme Court with the same pleas, would be deposited in the SEC fund. "Now, we hope the State Election Commission will hold the panchayat elections following the court's order and as per the panchayat rules as quickly as possible because much time has been lost", Mamata Banerjee told reporters here.

According to legal experts, the court did not specify a one-day extension of nomination deadline. This was an issue which was opposed by the Opposition's representatives during the hearing. Devastated by the verdict the Trinamul has chose to not to challenge it at the division bench.

However, the Trinamool refused to accept that the verdict had gone entirely against them. Single Bench judge Subrata Talukdar heard the case. It is victory of democracy which was ruined in Bengal.

Ever since the poll dates have been announced by the SEC, the eastern state has witnessed widespread violence primarily by the TMC and emerging principal opposition BJP.

"However, renewing the poll process and its dates does not mean that the terror unleashed by the state would end", state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Choudhury said.