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Calcutta High Court Extends Bengal Panchayat Election Nomination Filing Date Amidst Violence Claims

The court's decision comes amid accusations that supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress party have resorted to violence to prevent opposition candidates from filing their nomination papers.

Calcutta High Court
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In a bid to uphold fairness and address allegations of resistance and violence, the Calcutta High Court has directed an extension of the nomination filing deadline for prospective candidates in Basirhat, North 24 Parganas district, for the upcoming panchayat elections in West Bengal. The court's intervention comes in response to claims made by the president of the Basirhat district committee of the BJP, stating that candidates from the saffron party faced hindrances while attempting to file their nominations.

Justice Amrita Sinha, presiding over the case, issued a directive to the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Basirhat police district, instructing them to provide necessary assistance to all prospective candidates present by 4 pm on Friday for filing their nominations outside the office of the sub-divisional officer (SDO) in Basirhat. The court noted that despite specific orders for police escort on Thursday, the aggrieved candidates were reportedly prevented from filing nominations, allegedly being subjected to physical assault by individuals with affiliations to the ruling party in the state, according to PTI reports.

The petitioner sought the court's intervention to allow prospective candidates from Sandeshkhali I and II, Minakha, Nyajat, and Haroa blocks in the district to file their nominations on Friday. The court acknowledged the submission made by the State Election Commission (SEC) in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before a division bench, stating that the nomination filing deadline could be extended by a day without disrupting the notified schedule.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that the panchayat poll nomination process in the state remains peaceful, dismissing the opposition parties' attempts to sensationalize "one or two stray" incidents. Her remarks came in response to Governor C V Ananda Bose's statement emphasizing the need to end political violence in the state after visiting Bhangore, where clashes between supporters of two parties left three individuals dead.

Banerjee addressed the concluding session of the 'Trinamool eh Nabojowar' (New Wave in Trinamool) and criticized the Congress for aligning with the BJP and CPI(M). She further expressed that the grand old party should not expect support from the Trinamool Congress nationally in the fight against the BJP.

Governor C V Ananda Bose condemned the "undesirable incidents" that have occurred in certain parts of Bengal, stressing a zero-tolerance approach toward violence and the imperative need to put an end to it. The governor's statement came after assessing the situation in Bhangore earlier in the day.

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