BJP to move court against West Bengal election commission's 'illegal' decision to hold panchayat election in single phase

Kolkata: Terming the West Bengal State Election Commission's announcement to hold single-phase panchayat elections on 14 May as "illegal", the BJP state unit on Saturday said it will move the court for polls spread over three or more phases.

 BJP to move court against West Bengal election commissions illegal decision to hold panchayat election in single phase

Representational image. Reuters

"This election is illegal. We will move to court on Monday. The SEC's announcement of the panchayat polls on 14 May is completely unlawful. The polling was earlier scheduled to be held in three phases. How can it be brought down to just one phase after the filing of nominations are over," asked BJP National Secretary Rahul Sinha.

"The polling date of 14 May must be cancelled and a fresh notice issued to hold the elections in three or more phases," he said.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist and Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) have already decided to move the court on Monday on the ground that the SEC allegedly announced the election date without discussing security arrangements with the opposition parties as per the Calcutta High Court's order.

The Bengal rural body polls were earlier slated to be held on 1, 3 and 5 May.

After the High Court order, the state poll panel extended the last date for filing of nominations to 23 April and rescheduled the polling on May 14 and re-polls, if required, on 16 May.

Opposition parties equivocally condemned the SEC's decision to hold single-phase election following a meeting with State Election Commissioner Amarendra Kumar Singh on Saturday on security arrangements on the polling day.

"The SEC does not have any concrete plan on security on the polling day. It has not decided upon deployment of police and number of armed police required at polling booths. It is strange that the State Election Commissioner just inquired about our demands but did not divulge any details about his own planning," BJP leader Pratap Banerjee said after the meeting.

Echoing the CPM, the Congress also criticised the state government's decision to ask for additional forces from neighbouring states instead of asking for central forces.

"If forces are brought from other states, they should be given complete freedom to take action, whenever required. There is no point in bringing forces from outside if the local administration tries to manipulate them and do not let them move," a Congress leader said.

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Updated Date: Apr 28, 2018 22:41:32 IST