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Calcutta HC rejects BJP’s plea to stay Kolkata civic polls

Calcutta HC rejects BJP's plea to stay Kolkata civic polls thumbnail

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday refused to stay the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) election due on December 19, while directing the state poll panel and the West Bengal government to take measures for holding elections in other civic bodies at the earliest with the least possible number of phases. The State Election Commission (SEC) and the state government had earlier told the court that elections to 111 municipal bodies will be held in six to eight phases by May 2022, but dates can be fixed later, taking into account the spread of the omicron variant of Covid-19, and considering the school board examinations.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R Bharadwaj in its order refused to stay the KMC elections as prayed for by the BJP.

The BJP and another petitioner had moved the high court seeking direction to the SEC and the state government to hold elections to all the municipalities and municipal corporations where it is due together and as soon as possible.

Claiming that the SEC and the state government had announced the schedule for the KMC elections during the pendency of its petition, the BJP had prayed for a stay on the polls for the city’s civic body, which is to be held on December 19.

The bench directed the SEC and the state government to take measures for holding elections to the other 111 municipal bodies at the earliest in minimum possible phases.

It directed the SEC and the state government to inform the court on a tentative plan for holding these elections on the next date of hearing on December 23.

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