BJP seeks cancellation of municipal elections in West Bengal

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As the cases see a hike in West Bengal, the BJP party writes to State Election Commission for postponing municipality elections. They questioned whether holding elections would be in the public interest.

On Friday, the BJP party in West Bengal requested the State Election Commission to postpone municipality elections for a month as the COVID cases are hiking and questioned if holding elections in such a scary scenario would be in the public interest.

The party wrote that the situation has worsened since the notification to hold elections was released. On 28 December 2021, when the State Election Commission notified about the polls, the Covid cases were 732 with a positivity rate of 2.35%.

However, as of 13 January 2022, 23,467 new COVID cases were recorded with a positivity rate of 32.13%.

The letter also stated if such a situation would allow free and fair elections and requested the election commission of the state to consider postponing the polls by four to six weeks.

Regarding the High Court’s order, the party said that even the High Court had asked SEC to consider the increasing cases and postpone the upcoming elections.

The party also said that if elections are held, then the lives of people will be at stake, and hence it’s better to postpone the elections, which have already been delayed between 1.5 and 2.5 years.

The party further stated that SEC must take this issue into account and immediately postpone the elections to be held on 22 January 2022. Even after the request, if the SEC decides to hold elections and results in any severe events, the party said they would have the SEC responsible for all the happenings.

Before the BJP party wrote to SEC, the High Court had already asked SEC to postpone the upcoming municipal elections and had asked for a reply within 48 hours.

The High Court was hearing a PIL filed by Bimal Bhattacharya, who said that holding elections amidst rising Covid cases would be risking people’s lives, and SEC should consider postponing them.

In West Bengal, municipal elections are supposed to take place in Asansol Municipal Corporation, Bidhan Nagar municipal corporation, Siliguri municipal corporation, Durgapur municipal corporation, Howrah municipal corporation and Chander Nagor municipal corporation on 22 January 2022 and counting of the votes will be done on 25 January as per State Election Commission’s guidelines.

West Bengal is one of the top contributors to India’s COVID case numbers. In the last 24 hours, West Bengal recorded 22,645 new COVID cases and twenty-eight COVID related deaths.

Seeing the rise of cases in the state, the state government has decided to extend all restrictions to 31 January 2022. However, permission to hold fairs on open grounds while maintaining strict precautions has been granted.

As per the new COVID guidelines in the state, only 200 people can attend the marriage, and in case the capacity of the hall/venue is less, then only 50 people can attend the wedding.

Night curfew will be followed on all days, and all unessential activities will be restricted from 10 pm to 5 am. HK Dwivedi, the Chief Secretary, has ordered the district administrators to impose strict curbs in districts and increase the inoculation process.


Published By – Vanshu Mehra

Edited By – Mahi Gupta

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