West Bengal panchayat polls: SEC sets Apr 23 as extended date for nominations

 

The West Bengal State Election Commision (SEC), in line with court orders, has extended the deadline for submission of nominations for the upcoming panchayat polls – April 23rd is the new deadline for the same. According to the latest notification by the poll panel, the scrutiny of the submitted nominations will be held on April 25, while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is April 28.

Nomination filling will take place between 11 am and 3 pm on April 23. However, fresh election dates are yet to be declared by the SEC.

The Calcutta High Court revoked the commission’s April 10 order cancelling extension of the deadline for filing nominations and issued orders to allow further filing of nominations for panchayat polls in West Bengal.

The High Court also ordered a reschedule of the panchayat poll process dates, including the dates for holding the elections.

Before issuing the fresh notification, the SEC held an elaborate meeting with various political parties. Initially, the BJP had boycotted the meeting and claimed that the police had prevented the party delegation from entering the SEC office. Later, the BJP responded to the SEC’s call and joined the meeting.

Mukul Roy, the representative of the BJP delegation, expressed his hostility to one-day panchayat polls and said, “We have said this to the SEC and demanded at least two-phase polls with the deployment of central paramilitary forces.”

The Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee declared his party’s consent to the polls, “Our main concern is that the people are not harassed in summer and the panchayat elections are not held during the Ramzan month and monsoon.” He added, “Our priority is to expedite the development process initiated by the chief minister Mamata Banerjee.”

The panchayat elections in West Bengal state were earlier set to be held in three phases on May 1, 3 and 5 and the counting of votes was scheduled for May 8.

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