West Bengal Panchayat elections 2018: BJP boycotts SEC's all-party meet, threatens to move court
The West Bengal State Election Commission called the all-party meeting on Saturday following a Calcutta High Court order to make a fresh announcement extending the deadline for filing of nominations for the coming panchayat polls in consultation with the state government and other important stakeholders. "BJP is a major stakeholder in this case
West Bengal Panchayat elections 2018: A BJP delegation on Saturday boycotted the all-party meeting convened by the West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC), accusing it of not allowing more than two of their members in the meeting and threatened to move to the court again, if necessary. The SEC called the all-party meeting on Saturday following a Calcutta High Court order to make a fresh announcement extending the deadline for filing of nominations for the coming panchayat polls in consultation with the state government and other important stakeholders. "BJP is a major stakeholder in this case. We are also the petitioner of the case in Calcutta High Court. Our office had a word with the State Election Commissioner today (Saturday) morning and informed that five of our members would come to attend the meeting. But he said only two of us will be allowed," alleged state BJP leader Mukul Roy, who defected from Trinamool Congress last year.
"The way he behaved with us is a disgrace. There was no one from the SEC to listen to us but police were brought to the fore to stop us. We will again move to the court because this Commissioner is not listening to us," he claimed. The BJP team comprising of Mukul Roy, Shamik Bhattacharya and Pratap Banerjee among others said they boycotted the meet and would not resume the discussion until the SEC agrees to meet all five members of the delegation.
"There was a detailed discussion with the Commissioner about this. We are going back. We will not come back unless the Commissioner talks to all of us. Also, without talking to the BJP, which is the main petitioner in this case, he won`t be able to fix any date for the polling process as that would be a contempt of the High Court`s order," Roy said.
The opposition BJP, CPI-M, Congress and PDS had moved the court, accusing the Trinamool of unleashing massive pre-poll violence against their party workers to prevent them from filing nominations for the polls ever since the process began on April 2.
A single judge bench of Justice Subrata Talukdar on Friday quashed the SEC`s April 10 order that had cancelled the extension for filing nomination. The court directed the SEC to issue a fresh deadline extending the time for filing nominations in consultation with the state government and important stakeholders.
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