'Explain logic for delaying civic polls by only 3 weeks'

KOLKATA: A notice has been sent to State Election Commission (SEC) seeking a response as to know on what logic it had pushed back civic polls in four municipalities for three weeks.

Petitioner Bimal Bhattacharya, who had filed a PIL seeking postponement of civic polls in four municipalities - Asansol, Bidhannagar, Siliguri and Chandannagar - earlier scheduled to be held on January 22, 2022, had sent the notice to SEC on Monday.

He pointed out that Calcutta High Court asked SEC to consider postponing Bengal civic body polls for 4-6 weeks amid COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the petitioner, the SEC had extended the civic polls by three and not even four weeks. The SEC should reply within a week with a valid reason. Otherwise, the petitioner will file contempt of court case in the Calcutta High Court.

The SEC on Saturday pushed back elections at four municipal corporations by three weeks and announced that polls will be conducted on February 12. The move comes just a day after the Calcutta High Court urged the SEC postponing the civic polls by 4 to 6 weeks with COVID-19 cases showing a sharp rise.

The poll panel had earlier announced that there will be elections in four municipal corporations - Asansol, Bidhannagar, Siliguri and Chandannagar on January 22 and the results will be announced on January 25. However, the Commission is yet to officially announce the date of counting which is likely to be held on February 15. The timing of the polls will be the same.

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