Calcutta High Court to hear BJP's petition over holding civic polls in Bengal on November 29

The State Election Commission wants to hold elections to the municipal corporations of Kolkata and Howrah first

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday said it will hear on November 29 a petition by the BJP seeking direction to the West Bengal Government and the State Election Commission (SEC) to hold municipal polls in the State in one phase.

BJP’s lawyer prayed before the court for an urgent hearing on the matter claiming that the State Government is mulling holding of elections to municipal corporations of Kolkata and Howrah.

Lawyers of the State Government also prayed that hearing of the matter is held as early as possible.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R. Bharadwaj, said it will hear the petition on Monday next.

The SEC had submitted an affidavit before the court earlier this week stating that it wants to hold elections to the municipal corporations of Kolkata and Howrah first as the number of double vaccinated people in these two cities is high.

It said elections to the other municipal bodies in the state would be held in phases later.

The petitioner, BJP State vice-president Pratap Banerjee, had prayed for a direction to the SEC and the State Government that elections be held together to all civic bodies in the State where they are due and not on separate dates.

The petitioner claimed that elections to more than 100 municipal bodies in the state, including Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and that of Howrah have been due for a long time.

The elections to those civic bodies were due in April-May 2020, but the polls were postponed due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic. These municipalities and municipal corporations are being run by state-appointed Board of Administrators.

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