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Kolkata Municipal Corporation election to be conducted on December 19

File photo of Calcutta HC for representation. The State Election Commission announcement comes at a time when a petition is pending before the Calcutta HC on holding polls to all the 112 civic bodies in West Bengal on a single day   | Photo Credit: SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH

The West Bengal State Election Commission on November 25 issued notification stating that election to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation will be on December 19. State Election Commissioner Sourav Das said that elections to 144 wards of the city’s civic bodies would be on December 19 where the number of voters is about 40.48 lakhs.

“Model code of conduct comes into effect from today,” Mr. Das said. Polling would be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 19 and election process would be completed by December 22, he added. Officials of the Commission said that restrictions relating to COVID-19 would be observed during the campaign.

The term of the elected members of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation ended in May 2020 but elections could not be held due to the COVID-19 situation. The State government had appointed outgoing Mayor Firhad Hakim as the Chairman, Board of Administrators of Kolkata Municipal Corporation. The Trinamool Congress has been in power at city’s civic body since 2010.

The announcement comes at a time when a petition is pending before the Calcutta High Court on holding polls to all the 112 civic bodies in West Bengal, including Kolkata Municipal Corporation, on a single day. The Bharatiya Janata Party leadership had approached the court demanding that polls to all civic bodies be held on a single day. After the notification was issued on Thursday, the BJP leadership has sought the intervention of the court in the matter.

The State Election Commissioner said he would not be able to comment on the matter pending before the court. Mr. Das also added that the commission has waited till November 24 and there had been no order by the court in this regard. He maintained that the poll notification was as per the said procedures laid down in the Act.

While the Trinamool Congress leadership welcomed announcement, the Bharatiya Janata Party raised questions as to why the announcement was made when the matter was pending before the Court. BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said the party would approach higher courts on the issue.

Elections to about 112 civic bodies in West Bengal including Howrah Municipal Corporation have been pending for quite some time. The State government has recently passed a Bill to bifurcate Howrah Municipal Corporation but the Governor has sought clarifications on the legislation.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 9:27:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kolkata-municipal-corporation-election-to-be-conducted-on-december-19/article37678101.ece

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