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BJP to Take Trinamool Congress to Court Over Bengal Panchayat Poll Violence

State Election Commission has announced a three-phase panchayat polls in West Bengal on May 1, 3 and 5. The counting of votes would take place on May 8.

Sujit Nath, Prema Rajaram

Updated:April 4, 2018, 11:13 PM IST
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BJP to Take Trinamool Congress to Court Over Bengal Panchayat Poll Violence
BJP leader Mukul Roy at the West Bengal State Election Commission on Wednesday. (Prema Rajaram)
Kolkata: In the wake of violence during filing of nominations for the panchayat polls in West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on Wednesday has decided to file two petitions in the Supreme Court against the ruling Trinamool Congress.

The party also held a demonstration in front of the State Election Commission office over the issue.

Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh said, “Our legal cell is working on the modalities to file petitions before the apex court seeking intervention in the situation where ruling party (TMC) workers are assaulting and preventing our candidates from filing nominations for the panchayat elections.”

“It is unfortunate that the state election commission announced the poll dates on instructions from the Bengal government. We would like request the SC to postpone the election as the situation is not conducive to conduct polls in Bengal. We are hopeful that the apex court will listen to our plea on urgent basis,” Ghosh said.

Following the demonstration, BJP leader Mukul Roy met AK Singh, State Election Commissioner, to express his concern over political clashes in the districts. BJP claims that its candidates are unable to file nominations for the panchayat polls in the wake of threats and assaults by workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

“The state election commissioner also realizes the entire situation. But his hands are tied. The power lies with the state government. So although he is sympathetic, he can hardly do much. We are asked for central paramilitary forces. He agreed with us but he cannot get that done,” Roy said.

Speaking to News18 over telephone from New Delhi, BJP’s lawyer Partha Ghosh said, “I am working on the petition and it will be filed at the earliest. The context of the matter will be briefed by the party.”

Meanwhile, Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi separately met Singh and two top state bureaucrats – chief secretary Malay De and home secretary Atri Bhattacharya – on Wednesday to assess the ground reality.

The meetings followed a day after a BJP state delegation met the Governor and complained about the alleged attacks taking place across the state.

Rubbishing the allegations, Trinamool Congress general secretary Partha Chatterjee had said, “People of Bengal have stopped considering the Governor as a neutral person. Why are the opposition parties so scared of the rule of law?”

ADG, Law and Order, Anuj Sharma said, “Some incidents of violence were reported in Bengal and were instigated by outsiders. Presently the situation is peaceful.”

In Delhi, hours after Governor met the state election commissioner and two senior bureaucrats, a team of Trinamool Congress MPs led by Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O’Brien met home minister Rajnath Singh and levelled complaint against the Bengal Governor.

State Election Commission has announced a three-phase panchayat polls in West Bengal on May 1, 3 and 5. The counting of votes would take place on May 8.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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