National

Plea in SC against 8-phase Bengal polls

A larger than life cut out of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee put up at a chowk as part of preparations ahead of the West Bengal assembly elections, in Nandigram, on Jan. 20, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court to “prohibit” the conduct of Assembly elections in West Bengal in an “unequal manner” in eight phases.

The petition filed by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma also sought a CBI probe into the use of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ as a rallying slogan on religious terms by the BJP in the run-up to the elections.

Mr. Sharma, a Supreme Court advocate, has arraigned Union Home Minister Amit Shah, West Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari as respondents. The petition said the CBI should launch a probe under the Indian Penal Code, the Representation of People Act.

He said they raised the religious slogan of ‘Jai Shri Ram’, “creating disharmony”. This was “an attack upon the citizen of India for provoking, effecting their mind to fight among themselves and to give vote in their favour for electoral benefits”.

The lawyer has also made the Election Commission of India, the Union of India and the CBI as respondents in the petition.

Mr. Sharma said the political parties that used the religious slogan should be debarred from participating in “any election in the country”.

“Any kind of the appeal by any religious persons, group, temple, mosque, church and others to cast their vote in favour of a specific party must be counted a serious violation of the law and an offence not only under the act but also under IPC being fraud upon the Constitution and citizen of India and they must be barred to fight election or to participate in any election in future,” the petition said.

“No law has yet been framed empowering the Election Commission to adopt an unequal treatment among the five States as per their whim. Conducting election in eight phases while other States in one phase, especially when West Bengal has not facing any terrorist attack or under disputed war zone, is a clear case of violation of Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution,” it stated.

The eight-phase polls in West Bengal was declared “without disclosing valid reasons respondent cannot declare voting in different style/phase/manner to facilitate political demand for a specific party, is, BJP”.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 10:25:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/plea-in-sc-against-8-phase-bengal-polls/article33971777.ece

Next Story