Kolkata: Half an hour before the State Election Commission is expected to wrap up the poll process in the seven municipalities by declaring results, the Calcutta high court on Wednesday will hear a petition which seeks to suspend results in three municipalities -Pujali, Raigunj and Domkal -countermand the poll process there, and order fresh polls.
Justice Debangshu Basak will hear the petition at 10am; SEC is expected to begin counting at 8am and declare results at 10.30am. The HC on Tuesday asked representatives of the SEC, the DMs of South 24-Parganas, Murshidabad and North Dinajpur to be present before it as it hear out the case.
Congress was the first to knock on the HC doors. The party alleged Trinamool-backed goons had indulged in serious electoral malpractices, forcing the Congress to withdraw its candidates midway into the polling process. The petition also claimed the SEC had perpetrated the situation by refusing to deploy central forces in these three municipalities. It points out that SEC had deployed central forces in the Hills and the result was a complete contrast. Polling was peaceful in Kalimpong, Kurseong, Mirik and Darjeeling.”The SEC had acted discriminatorily while exercising its statutory powers. The SEC was repeatedly informed and requests were made for deployment of central forces,” said the petitioner’s lawyer and party spokesperson Riju Ghosal.
The petition claimed when the party tried to submit a deputation to the SEC with allegations of violence, threat and intimidation, it wasn’t allowed.The complaint added the party then informed the Shakespeare Sarani police station.The party, therefore, pleaded before the court to issue an interim order of injunction restraining the SEC from declaring the results of Domkal, Rai gunj and Pujali, to appoint administrators to look after the affairs of the municipalities and announce fresh polls under the supervision of the central observers and in presence of central forces. The state BJP and Left had also indicated before they were also exploring legal options.
The SEC remained tightlipped on these three municipalities. On the four Hill municipalities, it indicated that strongrooms holding the EVMs will be opened at 7.30am. Counting will start at 8am.