Supreme Court sets 14 May as the date for West Bengal panchayat polls

The Supreme Court set 14 May as the date for the West Bengal panchayat polls and asked the State Election Commission (SEC) to ensure free and fair polls, according to several media reports. It told the poll body not to issue any notification on the declaration of results till July 3.

The apex court also set aside the Calcutta High Court order that asked the West Bengal Election Commission to accept nominations for panchayat elections through email. It was hearing the state EC’s plea in which it had sought a stay on the HC order of May 8, saying it would suffer “irreparable loss and injury”.

CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said in a tweet, on Wednesday, that “the TMC, WB Govt and SEC nexus, upset after the landmark judgment of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday wanted to move to the Supreme Court. A caveat has already been filed on our behalf there on Wednesday”. The CPM claimed many of its intended candidates were prevented from filing nominations by the TMC.

On May 8, the high court had directed the SEC to accept nominations of those candidates named by the CPI(M) who had filed their papers electronically within the stipulated time on April 23.

The panchayat polls have been mired in controversy this time. There have been clashes among workers of different parties, forcing SEC to extend the date of filing of nominations.

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