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Poll panel takes govt to court

Mira Pande

Calcutta, June 24: The state election commission has moved the high court against the Mamata Banerjee government over the delay in beginning the process of holding polls to 17 civic bodies, the second time the panel has taken a legal step against the administration in a year.

State election commissioner Mira Pande, scheduled to retire this July, today filed a petition in Calcutta High Court requesting it to order the government to declare elections to the civic bodies at the earliest.

Elections to the 17 civic bodies have to be held by June 28. In most wards of these civic bodies, the BJP got leads in the Lok Sabha polls.

Sources said the government was planning to hold the polls after the Pujas so that Trinamul could regain ground in the civic areas. Some of the civic bodies are in Asansol, Kulti, Islampur, Siliguri (Mahakuma Parishad) and Dum Dum.

Pande, who had locked horns with the government over the conduct of the panchayat polls last year, had last month approached governor M.K. Narayanan over the civic elections.

Amrita Pandey, one of the counsels appearing for the commission, said: “The case may come up for hearing before Justice Soumitra Pal tomorrow.”