Plea to deploy Central Forces in civic polls: HC reserves verdict

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Monday reserved judgment in connection with a plea seeking deployment of Central Forces in the upcoming civic polls.

A Division Bench, comprising Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj, heard the public interest litigation filed by BJP demanding deployment of central security forces for the upcoming elections to the 108 civic bodies scheduled to be held on February 27.

BJP counsel Billwadal Bhattacharya claimed that the state election commission, despite its assurances to the High Court, had failed to ensure free and fair elections in the just-concluded elections to the four municipal corporations—Siliguri, Chandernagore, Bidhannagar and Asansol— where the Trinamool Congress made a clean sweep.

In its petition, the BJP has demanded that the state poll panel be instructed to deploy central paramilitary forces at least 72 hours before the date of elections till the day of counting.

Advocate General S N Mookherjee submitted that plea had mentioned that reports of violence during the election day in four civic bodies are based on news reports. It is alleged that BJP leaders were manhandled but there is no mention of the saffron party leaders.

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