M rallies in Kolkata protesting pre-Panchayat poll violence in Bengal

27 April, 2018, 01:11 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Congress Demands President's Rule in West Bengal After Panchayat Polls Violence

After the opposition parties moved Calcutta High Court over the pre-poll violence allegedly by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), the dates were cancelled due to delay in the election procedures. The SEC had earlier written to the state government about the need for central forces, something that was mentioned in its deliberations with Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, and sought from the government a detailed security plan for the panchayat election. The state government, officials said on Tuesday, "suggested" a two-day poll on May 14 and May 16 (with result declaration on May 18) as the fasting month of Ramzan would start in mid-May.

Accusing West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress of unleashing massive violence on the opposition parties before the state rural elections, the CPI-M on Wednesday took out a protest rally in the heart of the city.

According to this rule, the election can not be held before May 14.

"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is killing democracy in West Bengal and setting fire on its pyre". But the original schedule had to be changed because the Calcutta high court intervened and briefly stalled the electoral process after the commission extended the window for filing nominations and then reversed its decision overnight.

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About 5.08 crore people - almost 74% of the State's voters - are eligible to exercise their franchise for the three-tier panchayat elections across 20 districts of the State. The court has directed the SEC to submit a report by April 30.

Available forces are so inadequate that even top IPS officers would have to be detailed to guard polling booths, said Sayantan Basu, general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Amid allegations of widespread violence during the nomination filing process, the BJP has been able to put up candidates in far more seats than the Left Front. "The court has nullified all petitions of BJP regarding panchyat election", said Banerjee. There has been continuous attacks on the opposition parties.

During the hearing, Justice Subrata Talukdar had directed the SEC to ensure that nominations of 11 candidates for Polerhat II gram panchayat in South 24 Parganas district are filed, adding that it would be contempt of court if the order isn't executed. Mamata was the designated Home Minister.


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