Tue, 18 Jan 2022

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], January 14 (ANI): Calcutta High Court on Friday has directed the State Election Commission to consider the postponement of four civic polls for four-six weeks due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

The court had ordered State Election Commission to clear its stand within 48 hours.

The elections of four Municipal Corporations, namely Siliguri Municipal Corporation, Chandernagore Municipal Corporation, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and Asansol Municipal Corporation were earlier slated to be held on January 22, 2022, according to an order by the State Election Commission.

However, the High Court has postponed the elections for 4-6 weeks citing that the third wave of COVID-19 has hit the state and that the life of the residents of the State will be put to threat if the elections are held.

"By this petition, a direction has been sought to the respondents to cancel/modify/amend the notification dated December 28, 2021, whereby the dates of the election of four Municipal Corporations, namely Siliguri Municipal Corporation, Chandernagore Municipal Corporation, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and Asansol Municipal Corporation have been notified on January 22, 2022," stated the order.

"The applicant has sought postponement of the dates of the elections of the above Municipal Corporations on the plea that the State of West Bengal has been hit with the 3rd wave of COVID 19 Pandemic and that on December 27, 2021, there were only 439 COVID 19 positive cases which have leapfrogged to 6153 cases on January 2nd, 2022. The positivity rate at the time of filing the petition on 1st January 2022 was 15.93," stated the order.

"Considering the current pandemic situation in the State, apprehension has been expressed that the life of the residents of the State will be put to threat if the elections are held wherein large gatherings and the mass procession is imminent," as per the order.

"A plea has been raised that in these Municipal Corporations administrators have already been appointed, therefore, deferment of the elections for short period can be done and that the experience during the recent Kolkata Municipal Elections was not good since the cases of COVID infected persons have risen thereafter," further stated the order. (ANI)

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