KMC re-poll hangs in balance

Ballot box

THE BENGAL STATE ELECTION COMMISSION (SEC) is still awaiting report from the district magistrate of South 24-Parganas to decide whether there will be any re-poll for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) polls held on 18 April. 

“We received several demands for re-polling from the Opposition political parties and there were some direct complaints of irregularities that we had received at our control room on the day of election. We forwarded all these complaints to the DM South 24-Parganas on Sunday for scrutiny and had asked for his observation by today, but we are yet to get it,” state election commissioner Sushanta Ranjan Upadhaya said this evening. 

Going by the West Bengal Municipalities (Conduct of Elections) Rules, 1995, re-poll can be ordered only on the basis of substantiating reports from a Municipal Returning Officer, poll observers and the district magistrate, he said.    

The Left, BJP and the Congress had submitted memorandums to the poll panel demanding re-poll in 28 out of the 144 KMC wards where voting took place on 18 April amidst numerous allegations of false voting, booth capture, intimidation and violence targeted at Opposition party workers. 

The poll panel on Monday shot a letter to the Kolkata Police Commissioner, asking for an action taken report on miscreants firing bullets at a sub-inspector of Kolkata Police during post-poll violence at Girish Park in north Kolkata on 18 April. The injured SI is undergoing treatment at a city nursing home. 

Mr Upadhaya said that the 25 April vote in 91 civic bodies would be “more tough than Kolkata” as the number of booths and the geographical spread is much larger.  

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