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WB Rural Poll Nominations Last Date May Be Extended, Guv CV Ananda Bose Requests For Peace Amid Violence Reports

The opposition parties filed petitions claiming that the time given to file nominations is inadequate and various parts of the state see violence breaking out during the nominations procedure. The Calcutta High Court is currently viewing the matter of extension while Governor CV Ananda Bose Asks for peace.

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Calcutta High Court
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The State Election Commission (SEC) reportedly told the Calcutta High Court on Monday that the last date of filling nominations for the panchayat polls in the state be extended by a day to June 16. 

Court on June 9 heard the petitions by opposition leaders for an extension of the given date for filling nominations and deployment of central forces for the polls on July 8. It was observed at first that the time was not enough.

SEC counsel Jayanta Mitra, who submitted a report before the division bench presided by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam on Monday, said the last date for filing nominations could be extended to June 16, stating that six days were given for the purpose on previous occasions too.

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The high court had directed the SEC to file a report in the form of an affidavit on the petitions by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari for extension of dates as also for deployment of central forces. Adhikari’s counsel S Guru Krishnakumar told the court that the poll notification was issued within a day of the new commissioner taking charge, questioning what kind of consultation could have taken place with the state government on such short notice. 

He said the rules provide that the state government shall in consultation with the SEC decide the dates for the election. Submitting there are over 73,000 seats where elections are to be held, he said only four hours each day have been provided for such a huge exercise.

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Mitra told the court that over 10,000 nominations have so far been filed.

The chief justice said the confidence of the electorate should not be shaken and they must be able to exercise their franchise in a free and fair manner and that the SEC has powers to ensure that.

On a prayer by the petitioners for the deployment of central forces for the polls, the bench, also comprising Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, asked whether the number of policemen in the state force was adequate.
Court has not given the verdict yet as the hearing is to be continued in the afternoon session.

Violence during nomination filing

Violence has been reported from various parts of West Bengal during nominations filing preparations for the panchayat polls. The Governor of the state C V Ananda Bose on Monday warned that no violence will be tolerated, and urged all stakeholders to ensure peace and harmony in society.

"The elections in West Bengal will be conducted peacefully, and no violence will be tolerated", Bose told PTI here after visiting the Bharatiya Vichara Kendram, an organisation founded by RSS ideologue P Parameshwaran.

The governor said all stakeholders who are responsible for the conduct of panchayat elections in West Bengal have the responsibility to ensure peace and harmony in society.

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Bose, who received numerous requests for intervention from various political parties to ensure peace and harmony during the election, had called for an urgent meeting with the State Election Commission and warned of stringent action against the perpetrators of violence during the nomination to the panchayat polls in the state.

Earlier in the day, Bose, a Keralite, visited a museum dedicated to Parameshwaran. 

He also visited the library at Bharatiya Vichara Kendram and recalled the ideological contributions of Parameshwaran to the Indian stream of thought.

(With PTI inputs)

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