• Will kick off civic polls with Kol, Howrah: SEC in HC
    Times of India | 24 November 2021
  • KOLKATA: The State Election Commission in its affidavit to the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday stated its decision, in consultation with the state government, to hold municipal polls in phases beginning with Kolkata and Howrah.

    The SEC affidavit to Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava was in response to a petition filed by BJP leader Pratap Banerjee praying for single-day municipal elections across the state. In his petition, Banerjee urged that counting of votes be held in one day even if elections were held in phases.

    The SEC told the court that it wanted to hold civic polls to Kolkata and Howrah first because most residents of these two cities had received Covid vaccine shots. The HC will hear the matter some time next week.

    In the afternoon, the state election commissioner called on the Bengal governor at Raj Bhavan, a day after the former held an all-party meeting on the upcoming civic polls.

    Later, governor Jagdeep Dhankhar tweeted: “During the hour-long meeting with West Bengal state election commissioner Sourav Das, the governor emphasized that the SEC in its authority was at par with the Election Commission of India and it should be non-partisan, independent and effective and not an extension of the government.”

    The West Bengal State Election Act, 1994, provides that the SEC will have powers for “superintendence, direction…conduct of municipal polls” like that of the Election Commission.

    Section 8 of the Act empowers the state government to issue the election notification in consultation with SEC.
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