Calcutta HC extends stay on rural election process

The Asian Age.

Metros, Kolkata

He initially reasoned that the Trinamul was not at fault if no Opposition party would dare to contest the ruling party in the polls.

TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee at Calcutta HC for the panchayat election case on Tuesday. (Photo: Asian Age)

Kolkata: Uncertainty over the panchayat elections continues as there was no outcome of the poll battle relating to the extension of the deadline for the candidates’ filing of the nominations between the ruling and the Opposition parties at the single bench of the Calcutta high court on Tuesday. Another round of hearing has been scheduled on Wednesday.

Speculation is rife cutting across all political lines that the rural polls which have been scheduled to get underway from May 1 may be delayed. On Monday the single bench of Justice Subrata Talukdar had extended the stay on the poll process till Tuesday in view of a hearing by the division bench of Justice Bishwanath Samaddar and Justice Arindam Mukhopadhyay of the high court who however later refused to entertain the pleas of the Trinamool Congress and the West Bengal State Election Commission, challenging the single bench’s interim stay order on the Panchayat Elections last week, and sent back them to the single bench for the hearing.

When the hearing began before Justice Talukdar at 2 pm, Trinamul MP and party lawyer Kalyan Banerjee raised questions on the maintainablity of the BJP’s petition complaining the attacks on the opposition parties’ candidates during the filing of nominations for the rural polls.

The judge asked him why the court would not interfere. In reply Mr Banerjee submitted that the BJP’s petition have no ground since the deadline for filing nominations was already over by the time the party had moved the court.

He initially reasoned that the Trinamul was not at fault if no Opposition party would dare to contest the ruling party in the polls. Mr Banerjee later argued that the BJP, which claimed its candidates could not file nominations to contest the polls, fielded its candidates in 38000 booths compared to their figure of 8,000 in 2008 Panchayat polls.

The judge however made it clear to him that he would hear the versions of all sides in the case while fixing the hearing for Wednesday. Meanwhile state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury who was present at the high court slammed chief minister Mamata Banerjee for the uncertainty over the rural polls after the hearing.

Replying to the Trinamool supremo’s allegations on Monday evening he claimed, “She is trying to cover up her audacity and ego. Thus she is putting her own fault on others. She is responsible for the disaster of democracy in the state. I doubt if she wants elections.” The Congress MP also accused Mr Banerjee of wasting the court’s time by repeating his old arguements.