Supreme Court to hear BJP's plea against Bengal poll panelLast updated on Apr 11, 2018, 01:05 am
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear BJP's plea against the West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC). The petition was filed against the SEC's decision to recall its order of extending the deadline for filing nominations for the Panchayat polls by a day.
BJP has claimed that the order was recalled under pressure from the ruling Trinamool Congress.
How did the controversy unfold? We elaborate.
What is the controversy about?
Bengal's Panchayat elections will be held in three phases during May 1-5. Though the last date for the nomination was till Monday, SEC extended it till 3pm on Tuesday based on complaints that the Opposition candidates were prevented from filing papers.
However, on April 10 at 9am, the SEC cancelled the previous order extending the deadline for filing nominations.
The BJP moved the SC.
Earlier, the SC refused to interfere with the poll process
On Monday, SC had refused to interfere with the poll process. However, it clarified that if grievances were raised by any political party or candidate in writing, the SEC should deal with it as per the law.
Thus, when SEC received two letters from the state government's special secretary and TMC highlighting legal inconsistencies with the extension, it canceled the previous order.
Meanwhile, Bengal's panchayat polls will be a warm-up match
Now, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud has listed the matter for Wednesday.
Separately, with about 40 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal located in rural/semi-urban areas administered by Panchayats, the upcoming polls will work as a preparation exercise before 2019 LS elections.
The ruling TMC has to compete with BJP, Congress and Left.