WB Panchayat polls: BJP moves SC over denial of nomination form to its candidates

The West Bengal BJP on Thursday approached the Supreme Court, contending its candidates were threatened and denied nomination forms for upcoming Panchayat polls by the anti-social elements and the state authorities respectively.

Advocate Aishwarya Bhati mentioned the writ petition for an urgent hearing before a three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra who agreed to list it for consideration on Friday.

"The Block Development Officers, who are appointed as Assistant Panchayat Electoral Registration officers are refusing to hand over nomination forms to the candidates chosen by the petitioner-party and the forms were given to candidates set up by the ruling party TMC," the party contended.

The ruling party in the state has unleashed violence against the BJP candidates and their families are threatened and dissuaded from contesting the Panchayat elections on the party symbols, it added.

The last date for filing nomination papers has been fixed as April 9. The WB BJP sought direction to give police protection to its candidates to enable them to collect nomination forms and submit those through emails. It also sought orders for deployment of central paramilitary forces to maintain law and order till the polls.

The state BJP further claimed the WB State Election Commission was aided and abetted by the state authorities in creating a fear psychosis by intimidating its candidates and their family members.

The Panchayat polls are to be held in 20 districts of the state on May 1, 3 and 5 and counting of votes is scheduled for May 8.

The petitioner also stated they have filed complaints with authorities in Uttar Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Basirhat and Bisnupur regarding the violence orchestrated by the people affiliated to the ruling party.

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