The State Election Commission of West Bengal on Thursday announced that the much-awaited elections of Kolkata Municipal Corporation will be held on December 19 and the poll process will be completed by December 22. However, the commission didn’t announce the election of Howrah Municipal Corporation due to legal hurdles.
The notification issued by the State Election Commission said that the last date for nomination is one December 1 and the next day is reserved for the scrutiny. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is December 4 and the election will be held on December 19. The poll process will be completed by December 22.
Though the commission initially decided to conduct the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Howrah Municipal Corporation elections on the same day as the process of splitting Bally Municipality from Howrah Municipal Corporation is yet not over.
The state government decided to constitute a separate Bally municipality consisting of 16 wards. In that case there will be 50 wards in Howrah Municipal Corporation instead of 66. A proposal regarding this was passed in the assembly but governor Jagdeep Dhankhar sent it back to the assembly demanding more clarifications.
“I am constrained to observe that on quintessentially jurisdictional aspect in respect of consideration of the objections by the State Government under section 219 of the (Howrah Municipal Corporation Act, 1980) Act, the authorities have acted in an arbitrary, unfair and non-judicious manner,” the governor wrote in a four-page note to the Mamata Banerjee government.
No details of any consideration by the state government had emanated either from the order or otherwise, Dhankhar said and sought several documents for consideration of the Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, relating to proceedings of hearing and adjudication of objections.
The governor asked for a full record of consideration of the objections by the state government and proceedings and full details of objections and their disposal in relation to The Howrah Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Act, 2015.
He also sought the Assembly proceedings with respect to the Bill that finally led to The Howrah Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Act, 2015.
“Presently the formation of Bally municipality is in limbo and we don’t know when the legal issues will be settled. So we have just announced the polls of Kolkata Municipal Corporation. We will announce the polls of Howrah Municipal Corporation once Bally municipality is formed,” a senior official of SEC said.
Meanwhile, the BJP has demanded election in all the 118 municipalities and corporations and has filed a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) before the Calcutta High Court. The hearing for the case will come up on Monday.