In a huge setback for the BJP, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday refused to stay the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) election, slated to be held on December 19.
A division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R. Bharadwaj denied the BJP’s request even as it directed the State Election Commission and the West Bengal government to take measures for holding polls in other civic bodies at the earliest with the least possible number of phases.
The State Election Commission and the Trinamool Congress government had earlier informed the high court that polls to 111 municipal bodies will be conducted in 6-8 phases by May 2022. However, they said the dates would be fixed later, taking into consideration the Covid-19 situation and school board examinations.
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.
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.
The next date for hearing is scheduled on December 23 where the court asked the state poll panel and the government to provide a tentative plan for holding the civic polls in the other municipalities and corporations of the state.
The West Bengal BJP presented their electoral manifesto for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation election last week, emphasising corruption-free civic services, health, education, and women’s and children’s protection.