Supreme Court to hear BJP's plea against Bengal poll panel

Image used for representational purpose

Image used for representational purpose

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday stalled all procedures pertaining to the West Bengal panchayat election undertaken by the State Election Commission (SEC) till April 16.

He said the next hearing on the petitions-filed by the BJP, as also the CPI-M and the Congress challenging the SEC's April 10 order withdrawing its earlier decision to extend the filing of nominations by a day-will be held on 16 April. On 6th March, BJP had told the court that democracy was being stifled in West the ruling Trinamool Congress.

The BJP had approached the judiciary, both the High Court and Supreme Court alleging that the party was being blocked from filing nominations for the Panchayat polls, as the last date for filing nominations was April 9.

This content is restricted to site members. Notably, the polling for the three-phased elections is slated to be held on May 1, 3 and 5 while the counting of vote has been scheduled for May 8.

The Calcutta High Court has asked the West Bengal Election Commission for a status report on the process, reports said.

In its order, the bench said the Calcutta High Court was already seized of the matter and had passed an order yesterday staying the State Election Commissions order for recall of (rpt recall of) extension of the deadline. "We will definitely move division bench against the ruling", he said.TMC senior leader and state parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee said that the victory celebration of the Opposition would be shortlived as the people of Bengal will give verdict in favour of the TMC.

It had, however, refused to interfere with the poll process, saying that with the April 2 notification of the SEC, the poll election process has been set in motion.

BJP national general secretary Kailash Viijayvargiya said the judgment was a blow to the ruling.

Opposition parties in the state have alleged repeatedly, citing reports of violence from across districts, that the commission has done nothing to ensure that their candidates could file nominations. "This high court ruling is a triumph of democracy over dictatorship", Vijayvargiya told reporters.

"We will not comment on the court order".

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