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TMC, BJP differ on Kolkata, Howrah civic elections

The SEC in an affidavit has told the court that the two cities are being considered first as most people have been vaccinated
Last Updated : 24 November 2021, 17:24 IST
Last Updated : 24 November 2021, 17:24 IST
Last Updated : 24 November 2021, 17:24 IST
Last Updated : 24 November 2021, 17:24 IST

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The proposed municipal elections to civic bodies of Kolkata and adjoining Howrah city has brought the ruling Trinamool Congress at odds with the BJP, as the latter wants elections to be held simultaneously for civic bodies across the state, instead of only two cities as suggested by the Trinamool.

Further, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has added another dimension in the argument as he ‘cautioned’ the state election commission (in a tweet) that “toeing line of state government and be merely its executing agency, would be an outrage of Constitution...”.

The governor, after meeting the state election commissioner on Tuesday, also wrote a letter to him, adding that “there have been numerous inputs to me indicating that the State Election Commission (SEC), abdicating its constitutional mandate and authority, is toeing the line of the state government…”

Meanwhile, a state BJP leader has already filed a petition in the Calcutta High Court, praying that the SEC and the state government be directed to hold elections to all civic bodies together in a single phase. The court hearing is scheduled for November 29. The commission in an affidavit has told the court that the two cities are being considered first as most people have been vaccinated.

While the date of the election, earlier expected to be in December, is now uncertain, the Trinamool seems to be gearing up for the civic polls. Trinamool employees' and workers' union on Wednesday felicitated Firhad Hakim, the outgoing mayor (currently chairman, board of administrators, as his term concluded earlier), and other leaders who governed Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

Talking to DH, Hakim said that the commission is doing its duty, and the state government is not shying away, rather taking precautions. “It is the priority of the election commission to hold elections whenever they want. The state is to advise the date of the elections as the state has to arrange for security and other arrangements and that is the provision in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation act,” he said.

“We are always ready for elections and as the situation of covid is very normal in Kolkata, and most of the people are vaccinated so it is high time to hold an election,” he added.

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Published 24 November 2021, 17:24 IST

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