Bengal opposition demands timely civic body polls

Kolkata : West Bengal’s opposition parties Wednesday demanded timely polls to 17 civic bodies and asked the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government to hold immediate discussions with the State Election Commission on the matter.

While the Left Front (LF) in a statement called for protecting the voting rights of the people living in the areas coming under 15 municipalities besides the Siliguri Municipal Corporation and the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad, the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders called on state election panel chairperson Meera Pandey with their demand.

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The terms of the 15 municipalities would end early July. The Siliguri Municipal Corporation is scheduled to go to the hustings by September. The term of the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad ends in August.

“The LF demands protection of the democratic rights of the citizens residing in areas under these 17 civic bodies. We also demand holding of timely polls,” LF chairman Biman Bose said.

“We also demand the state government consult the State Election Commission and take all required steps to hold timely polls,” he said.

Accusing the state government of being reluctant to hold the elections to the civic bodies due to the resurgence of the BJP in the recent Lok Sabha election, its state president Rahul Sinha said a delegation of party leaders would call on Governor M.K. Narayanan to press for timely elections.

The state BJP said the poll panel has written to the state government thrice for holding the elections as per schedule. However, the state government did not respond.