Kolkata, Feb 3 (PTI) Polls to 108 municipalities of West Bengal will be held on February 27, the State Election Commission (SEC) said in its notification on Thursday, setting the stage for yet another contest for the ruling TMC and the opposition BJP, nine months after the assembly polls.
The notification, however, did not mention the date of vote counting, which, State Election Commissioner Saurav Das said, will be declared later.
Barring ward number 29 of South Dum Dum Municipality, the polling for which has been put on hold by the high court, 108 civic bodies in Bengal, spread across 21 districts, will be going to polls on February 27.
The SEC will be holding a meeting with district magistrates and superintendents of police later in the day to take stock of security arrangements and poll preparations.
“We will issue a separate notification to announce the date of counting. The entire polling process has to be completed by March 8. Starting today, the Model Code of Conduct comes into force. The last date of filing nomination is February 9,” Das said, addressing a press conference.
Four other municipal corporations — Siliguri, Chandannagar, Bidhannagar and Asansol – are scheduled to go to polls on February 12. Counting of votes for the four civic bodies are set to be held on February 14.
On Wednesday, opposition parties had urged the SEC to count votes of February 12 elections simultaneously with that of polls to 108 municipalities.
Elections to Kolkata Municipal Corporation, along with 112 other civic bodies, were due in April-May 2020. The exercise was postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The TMC in December scored a hat-trick by retaining the KMC board for the third consecutive time.
Last year, the TMC stormed to power in the state, bagging 213 of the 294 assembly seats.
The BJP, despite its high-pitched campaign, managed to bag only 77 seats.
The TMC had swept most of the south Bengal districts, and the BJP did well in the northern districts.
Civic polls in Bengal will pave the way for another fight between the TMC and the BJP and go on to show if the two parties have been able to hold on to their ground after the assembly polls in this politically volatile state.
For the CPI(M)-led Left Front, the battle is to retain its main opposition status in most civic bodies.
The TMC had bagged majority of the municipalities in 2015. PTI PNT RMS RMS
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Source: The Print