'Governor's consent for separation of Howrah & Bali civic bodies pending'

KOLKATA: Citing miscommunication as the reason behind submitting wrong information to the court, state Advocate General SN Mookherjee on Thursday stated before the Calcutta High Court that Governor Jagdeep Dhankar had not yet signed the bill for separation of Howrah and Bali municipalities. Thus, it is not possible to hold the Howrah civic poll at present.

The Advocate General expressed his desire to file a new affidavit in the High Court. The next hearing will be on January 6. The Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, that proposed to separate Bally Municipality from the jurisdiction of the HMC, was passed by the Assembly recently. A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Calcutta High Court after the State Election Commission (SEC) announced that voting in four municipal corporations—Siliguri, Chandernagore, Bidhannagar and Asansol—would be held on January 22.

Advocate Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, counsel of petitioner Mousomi Roy, had filed the PIL via email in the Calcutta High Court. The plea sought a reply as to why only four municipalities were going to polls and not Howrah? The commission had earlier told the court that HMC, Asansol Municipal Corporation, Chandannagar Municipal Corporation, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and Siliguri Municipal Corporation would vote simultaneously.

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