SC to hear BJP plea on Bengal civic polls

Four days before the deadline for filing nominations for panchayat polls ends in West Bengal, BJP moved the SC on Thursday accusing TMC workers and state EC officials of colluding to prevent BJP candidates from contesting. A bench of Justices R.K. Agrawal and A.M. Sapre said, "We are reserving verdict for 9 April".

The West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party sought availability of nomination papers online, extension of the last date of filing these papers and deployment of paramilitary forces in the state in the run up to the polls scheduled in the first week of May.

Sporadic violence has marked the political horizon of Bengal over filing nominations to 60,000 panchayat seats that will go for elections on 1,3 and 5 May. The party held protests against the TMC, and asked for additional central paramilitary forces to ensure free and fair elections.

On Friday, during the hearing, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the West Bengal unit of the BJP, said democracy is being murdered in the state as candidates are not being allowed to file their nomination papers and there is large-scale violence.

"Police are acting like cadres of the TMC", Roy said, adding that party workers of both CPI (M) and the Congress-both of which he called spent forces-should join the saffron brigade against the "TMC misrule".

They smashed the rear windshield, took him out of the vehicle and beat him up. The votes will be counted on May 08.

State Minister and Trinamool's Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said: "In various districts, some people carrying arms and CPM flags were trying to disturb peace". The last date of scrutiny of the nominations is April 11.

During the election rally in West Bengal, BJP workers were hailing slogans and suddenly an undefined person hurles a crude bomb in front of them.

"There is a triple whammy in BJPs petition".

He said it was a settled law that once the poll process has started, it cannot be tinkered with and if they have any grievances, they can easily file election petitions.

The petition has made as parties the State government, the police chief, the Election Commission of India and the State Election Commission.

A Trinamool delegation comprising senior Ministers and party functionaries called on Governor KN Tripathi at the Raj Bhavan and State Election Commissioner Amarendra Kumar Singh at his office and accused the opposition parties of indulging in falsehood and hatching conspiracies to defame the state.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

  • Tracy Klein