Friday, July 19, 2024

Bengal rural polls: Fracas over SC upholding Calcutta HC’s order on central forces deployment

A political slugfest erupted after the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a Calcutta High Court order on deployment of central armed forces in West Bengal for the forthcoming panchayat elections.

The Apex Court upheld the Calcutta High Court’s order on deployment of central armed forces and dismissing the special leave petitions filed by the State Election Commission and the state government.

A division bench of Justices B.V. Nagarathna and Manoj Mishra observed that since the Calcutta High Court directed central forces for ensuring free and fair polls, there should not be any objection in adhering to that.

Reacting to the development, CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member and senior advocate of the Calcutta High Court Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya said that such an order from the apex court was inevitable.

“The state government and the state election commission were not serious in ensuring free and fair polls and hence they were so desperate to halt the process of the central armed forces deployment. The apex court has rightly questioned the logic of the state election commission filing the SLP to halt the central forces deployment when the commission’s responsibility is to ensure free and fair polls. The apex court has also raised questions on the justification of deployment when the entire cost for the same will be borne by the Union government,” said Bhattacharya.

Reacting to the development, BJP’s national vice- president and the party Lok Sabha member Dilip Ghosh said that the auspicious day of “ratha yatra” has turned into the day of “Antarjali Yatra” (the doom’s day) for the state government and state election commission.

“The state government and the ruling party might have a compulsion to win the polls. But why did the state election commission oppose the deployment of central armed forces. That is why the Supreme Court has boxed the ears of the commission today,” Ghosh said.

The state Congress president in West Bengal and veteran Lok Sabha member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the Top Court’s judgement has proved how biased was the role of the state election commission in the entire matter.

Till the filing of this report, there was no reaction from the ruling Trinamool Congress in the matter.



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