SEC trashes BJP’s claim on withdrawal of nominations in Bengal rural elections
In the affidavit, the SEC said 9.03 per cent of valid nominations were withdrawn in this year’s Panchayat elections while the figure was 17.65 per cent in the previous polls.
KOLKATA: The West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC) on Thursday submitted an affidavit before the Calcutta High Court stating that the withdrawal of nominations for the upcoming panchayat polls to be held on July 8 had been almost cut to half in comparison to the previous poll five years ago. The state poll panel also said the number of valid nominations is also much higher this time.
The SEC submitted the affidavit following a directive of the high court that was issued while hearing a petition of Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari accusing the ruling Trinamool Congress of forcing the opposition candidates to withdraw their nominations.
In the affidavit, the SEC said 9.03 per cent of valid nominations were withdrawn in this year’s Panchayat elections while the figure was 17.65 per cent in the previous polls. The SEC said the number of nominations has significantly increased this time. In this Panchayat election, the SEC has received 2,28,158 valid nominations while the figure was 1,33,633 in 2018. A total of 23,619 nominations were withdrawn in 2018 and in this electoral exercise over 20,612 nominations were withdrawn.
The BJP, the principal opposition of the TMC in Bengal, refused to accept the SEC’s figure. “The figure of the total number of withdrawn nominations doesn’t reflect the real scenario of violence unleashed by the TMC. “The statistics don’t disclose the real story behind the withdrawal of candidature. Thousands of our candidates were forced to withdraw their candidature,” said BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya.
The SEC informed the HC that it received 754 complaints of irregularities and it has ordered a thorough investigation. The panel also said that the sensitive booths have been identified and CCTV footage from all polling booths would be preserved as per the order.