SC verdict on West Bengal panchayat polls: TMC welcomes 'victory of democracy', BJP vows to fight 'democratically'

Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on panchayat polls in West Bengal as a "victory of democracy" and asked opposition parties to apologise to the people of the state.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The Supreme Court has turned down the pleas of CPM and BJP seeking cancellation of elections on over 20,000 uncontested local body seats in West Bengal. All these uncontested seats were won unopposed by candidates of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

"We are very happy. We welcome the verdict of the court. It is a victory of democracy. We have been saying this for a long time," TMC Lok Sabha MP Kalyan Banerjee said. "This is a historic verdict. This is a big lesson for opposition parties. It has been proved that their allegations are baseless. They should apologise to the people of the state," Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee said.

The state BJP said it has accepted the verdict and would fight the TMC democratically. "We accept the verdict of the Supreme Court. We'll fight against TMC democratically in the next Lok Sabha elections. The people of the state will have the last word," state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.

The ruling Trinamool Congress had contended that not a single candidate approached any court with the grievance that he or she had been stopped from filing nomination papers. The Opposition parties — CPM and BJP — which have opposed the contention of the state government, poll panel and the TMC, had alleged that West Bengal did not witness a free and fair election and the candidates of these two parties were stopped from filing nomination papers.

Elections were held in phases for 48,650 posts in Gram Panchayats, 825 posts in Zilla Parishads and 9,217 posts in Panchayat Samitis and the TMC won about 34 percent seats uncontested.

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Updated Date: Aug 24, 2018 13:13:41 IST

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