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Above: BJP National Secretary Rahul SinhaBJP leader and party’s panchayat  election committee convenor Mukul Roy with the supporters sit in demonstration in front of Gandhi statue against the violence during the nomination of panchayat election, in Kolkata (file picture)/Photo: UNI

Top court asks state chapter of the BJP to approach the state election commission instead

The Supreme Court bench of Justices R K Agrawal and Abhay Manohar Sapre on Monday (April 9) threw out an appeal by the  Bharatiya Janata Party, West Bengal, who had appealed to the top court, complaining that they were not being allowed by Trinamool Congress (TMC), the state’s ruling party, to file nominations for upcoming Panchayat polls. The BJP had sought the court’s intervention which the court has summarily rejected.

The bench said: “We cannot interfere in this matter.” The bench asked the BJP, which, anyway, has a miniscule presence in that state, that “you can approach to state election commission.”

The court also refused to postpone the date of the election.

The BJP, trying strong-arm tactics to gain a toehold in the state – where it has failed on multiple occasions to even scratch the poll surface – had complained that TMC activists were not allowing its (BJP) candidates to file nominations.

In its writ, it had demanded that the top court should intervene and do any or all of the following:

  1. Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus directing the respondent No. 6 to issue nomination forms to the candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party so as to enable them to file their nominations in the upcoming Panchayat Elections; and/or
  2. Issue an appropriate Writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus directing the respondent No. 6 to take immediate steps to make arrangements for submission of nomination papers for the West Bengal State Panchayat Elections, 2018 through e-mail; and/or
  3. Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus directing the respondent Nos. 1-3 to provide police protection to the candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party so as to enable them to collect and deposit the nomination forms for the purpose of contesting the Panchayat Elections scheduled to be held on May 1, 3, and 5 in the State of West Bengal; and/or
  4. Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus directing the respondent Nos. 1-3 to call for central para-military forces to maintain law and order in the state of West Bengal during the conduct of the Panchayat Elections;

These tall demands were thrown out by the top court and now the BJP has no option but to fall back on the state election commission.

—India Legal Bureau

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