Panchayat polls: Filing of nominations begins in Bengal on extended date

BJP leader Mukul Roy Bengal Ramnavmi BJP Ramnavmi Rally Hindtuva Agenda Trinamool Congress Rahul Sinha

Speculation is rife that the fresh poll schedule is likely to be announced on Monday when another round of meeting between the state poll panel and the state government may take place.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the ruling Trinamool Congress blamed each other for the violence.

The nomination process for the panchayat polls ended on April 9, but it was extended by a day by the SEC the same evening following a Supreme Court order on a BJP petition alleging that opposition party candidates were being prevented from filing nominations. Congress leader Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury's vehicle was also reportedly hit with bricks and crude bombs in Murshidabad district's Shamshergunj.

"However, renewing the poll process and its dates does not mean that the terror unleashed by the state would end", state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Choudhury said. Read Also: Calcutta HC directs State EC to reschedule dates During the clash, Sheikh Dildar was shot by unknown miscreants.

On a verbal direction by Justice Talukdar, the SEC secretary took information from the BDO office over phone and informed the court that only one nomination was filed in each of the 16 seats of Polerhat II gram panchayat in Bhangar area. Another BJP worker also received serious injuries in his hand. "Today we have lost our worker in the clash", PWD minister and senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim claimed. "This is the second time BJP brought outsiders from Jharkhand to create trouble here".

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Filing of fresh nominations for panchayat polls was held across the state Monday following a Calcutta High Court order directing the state election commission to extend the date. Read Also: Kolkata Police summons cricketer Mohammed Shami in connection with case filed by wife Hasin Jahan A single Bench judge, Subrata Talukdar, has sought detailed report from SEC tomorrow on today's nomination filing and violence.

Justice Talukdar then directed the SEC secretary Nilanjan Shandilya, who represented the commission in the court, to ensure that the 11 candidates were able to file their nomination papers if otherwise found to be in order.

Alleging that the SEC had acted at the behest of TMC, the CPI (M) had submitted before the court that the withdrawal of the notification extending the date for notification is illegal and stands to be nullified and the election postponed. The order came after the BJP and a few other Opposition parties accused the Trinamool Congress of stopping them from filing nominations. There were incidents of violence reported from Malda, Murshidabad, and South 24 Parganas districts too.

Union minister Babul Supriyo shared a series of videos on Twitter from Asansol, claiming that supporters of the Trinamool Congress had stopped BJP candidates from filing their nominations in Barabani village and also blocked his vehicle.

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