A day after the Calcutta High Court ruled in favour of the State Election Commission in a dispute over rural polls, West Bengal Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee said the government would take the issue to the Supreme Court if a Division Bench upheld the single-judge’s order.
Calling the verdict “unrealistic,” Mr. Mukherjee told journalists on Saturday it was impossible for any government to implement the order.
The High Court on Friday directed the State government to send the complete list of observers to the Commission and also inform them of the details of deployment of security forces required for holding the polls.
“We kept our office open throughout the day but have not got any response from the State government relating to the High Court’s verdict,” secretary of the State Election Commission Tapas Roy told The Hindu, adding that consultations were being held with the SEC’s legal counsel.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress scoffed at the Opposition’s suggestion that it was afraid of facing the rural polls. General secretary Mukul Roy said the Trinamool’s vote share had gone up in the by-polls and it would be reflected in both the rural polls and upcoming by-elections for the Howrah parliamentary seat. He accused the Opposition of delaying the election by approaching the court.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of taking a contradictory stand in the dispute. “On the one hand she is saying that the elections will be held at the right time and, on the other, she is prompting the Panchayat Minister to approach the Division Bench or even the Supreme Court on the order,” CPI(M) central committee member Mohd. Salim said. Ms. Banerjee, he added, wanted bureaucrats to administer rural bodies.
During the day, the Pradesh Congress took out a rally in the city, demanding that rural polls be held as per schedule.