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Confusion prevails over notification for municipal polls in Kolkata

 
Kolkata, Nov 24 (IANS) With the Calcutta High Court set to hear a plea moved by the BJP to conduct elections to all the municipalities in West Bengal together, the confusion over issuing the notification for polls to the municipal corporations of Kolkata and Howrah continued on Wednesday.

The high court bench of Chief Justice Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava will hear the petition on November 29.

The West Bengal government and the State Election Commission (SEC) had agreed to conduct elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the Howrah Municipal Corporation on December 19.

The BJP has filed a petition urging the SEC to conduct the pending elections to 112 municipalities together with the two corporations. The SEC in its affidavit said that it will not notify the polls unless the hearing of the case ends.

Now the situation is such that if the SEC doesn't notify the polls by Thursday, it will not be able to conduct the elections on December 19.

"According to the Constitutional provision, there should be a gap of minimum 24 days between the date of notification and the date of polls. If we can't notify it on Thursday, we will not be able to meet the deadline," a senior official of the SEC said.

The Commission will then not be able to conduct the polls this year.

"If we can't conduct the polls on December 19, we will not be able to announce the results on December 22. After that there is Christmas and New Year celebrations. In that case, the elections will be deferred to next year," the official said.

Some sources in the Commission, however, said the notification might be issued on Thursday considering the fact that the matter is still subjudice.

"As the court has not said anything regarding notification of polls, there is no embargo on it," an official said.

However, a final decision regarding this will be taken by the State Election Commissioner.

--IANS
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