Calcutta HC directs West Bengal EC to postpone civic body polls amid rising Covid-19 cases
The Calcutta high court on Friday directed the West Bengal Election Commission to consider postponing civic body polls for four to six weeks in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases. The commission was given 48 hours to clear its stand on the matter. The court was hearing the matter of whether municipal polls should be held in the prevailing pandemic situation. Covid-19 cases have been rising exponentially in the state over the past few days. Bengal is currently among the top contributors in the nationwide of the coronavirus cases.
Elections are due in seven municipal corporations of West Bengal, including Asansol Municipal Corporation, Bidhan Nagar Municipal Corporation, Chandernagore Municipal Corporation, Durgapur Municipal Corporation, Howrah Municipal Corporation and Siliguri Municipal Corporation.
The state’s polling panel had earlier said that elections in four municipalities - Asansol, Bidhannagar, Siliguri and Chandannagar - would be held as scheduled on January 22 and counting would take place on January 25.
However, with Covid-19 cases rising alarmingly, a PIL was filed by an individual Bimal Bhattacharya, who argued that considering the escalating Covid-19 situation, the civic polls should be postponed. On Thursday, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the administration was well prepared to tackle the latest Covid surge in the state.
She was speaking at a virtual meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where chief ministers and lieutenant governors of states and Union Territories were present to review the COVID-19 situation in the country.
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