The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday refused to stop the upcoming Kolkata Municipal Corporation election that is scheduled to begin from December 19, Live Law reported.
The bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajashri Bharadwaj announced the ruling after hearing Bharatiya Janata Party’s West Bengal unit vice-president Pratap Banerjee plea seeking a stay on the election.
The plea had asked the court to direct the West Bengal government and the state Election Commission to conduct all the pending municipal polls together.
On December 6, the West Bengal Election Commission had told the court that elections to 111 municipal bodies will be held in six to eight phases by May 2022, PTI reported. But the dates were to be fixed later considering the spread of the Omicron variant and ongoing examinations for students of Classes 10 and 12.
At the hearing on Wednesday, the court asked the West Bengal Election Commission to provide the schedule of the polls as it was “their responsibility to uphold democratic principles”, Live Law reported.
But the BJP said that the state Election Commission had announced the schedule for Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections when the petition to stay the polls was pending before the court.
The matter will be heard again on December 23.
In the run-up to the polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party had also filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding that Central Armed Police Force personnel be deployed during the elections.
Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing the party, alleged that the BJP’s candidates for the civic elections were being threatened and pressured to withdraw their nominations since the poll dates were announced.
However, the Supreme Court refused to entertain the plea and told the petitioners to approach the Calcutta High Court instead.
West Bengal had witnessed violence after the results of the Assembly elections were declared on May 2. The Trinamool Congress had won the state elections while the BJP emerged as the main opposition party.