BJP demands postponment of Bengal civic poll

Ankur Bhattacharya ; Kolkata, 20 February: A delegation of senior BJP leaders in West Bengal today urged the state Election Commission to defer the proposed date for Kolkata and Howrah Municipal Corporation elections from 12 April to at least 24 April to get more time for electioneering using microphones.

A three member BJP delegation led by Senior party leader Mukul Roy and comprising state party Vice Presidents – Jayprakash Mazumdar and Sisir Bajoria – called on the state Chief Election Commissioner Saurav Das at his office this afternoon and requested him to defer the proposed date, as suggested by the state government (on 18 February) from 12 April to at least 24 April to enable all party candidates to give 12 days additional time for the crucial electioneering before the election day.

According to them,as the Calcutta High Court had prevented all political parties from electioneering  in public places using  microphones or amplifiers till the end of the Higher Secondary examinations on 30 March,there would be hardly any time left for election campaigning between 1 to 10 April,when campaigning would have to come to an end by all means as per the norms.

‘Under these circumstances we requested the Election Commission to take a fresh look into the whole issue and postpone the proposed election date from 12 to at least 24 April’, Mukul Roy later said speaking on behalf of the party delegation.

Meanwhile,the state Election Commission which is yet to formally announce the dates for not only the Kolkata and Howrah Municipal corporations elections but also those of 120 other Municipalities elsewhere in the state, have seemingly started all preparations for holding all civic body elections anytime in April.

Accordingly, they held preliminary meetings with most of the District Magistrates and other district level elections officials during the past two days to know about their preparations for the poll.

The state cabinet at its meeting  on 18 February has suggested 12 April as the ‘most preferable day’ for holding elections to all the wards under KMC and those under Howrah Municipal Corporation and either on 26 or 27 April for other civic bodies elsewhere in the state and informed the Commission accordingly.