West Bengal Panchayat Polls: Calcutta High Court puts stay order


The last few weeks in West Bengal have been marred with unprecedented violence over political clashes between political parties. In such a situation, the Calcutta High Court has put stay order on Panchayat Polls in West Bengal. No doubt, amidst such unprecedented state sponsored attack on the opposition parties, submitting nomination became the most difficult task for the opposition candidates. Time and again, media people were attacked in the rural area, were snatched of their cameras and even a photographer was tortured naked and blackmailed by the party backed goons. The situation is indeed alarming and the stay order definitely gives a fresh breather to the opposition parties.

Justice Subrata Talukdar of Calcutta High Court has asked the State Election Commission to submit a comprehensive report by next Monday on the poll process which categorically needs to include the number of nominations filed by ruling and opposition parties, percentage of nominations rejected and other details. The next hearing is scheduled on April 16 when the Calcutta High Court would be hearing on the State Election Commission’s abrupt decision to withdraw April 9 notification which had extended the date of filing nominations by a day. BJP and other opposition parties have categorically alleged that the state government compelled the State government compelled the State Election Commission to withdraw the notification.

Incidentally, all the opposition parties in West Bengal including BJP, Congress and CPIM have moved to Calcutta High Court challenging the State Election Commission’s decision to withdraw the notification which would have extended the deadline to file nomination by a day. Anyhow, the Calcutta High Court has also specifically asked BJP to stick with one forum and not move to and fro in High Court and Supreme Court with similar pleas. Meanwhile, Calcutta High Court Judge Subrata Talukdar has also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on BJP for misrepresentation. Definitely, all eyes will be on West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and her possible stance. One can definitely expect that the stay order decision will apparently bring peace in the rural areas of Bengal.

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