West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar today sought further details and clarifications from the state government on the Howrah Municipal Corporation Amendment bill 2021 after he decided to refrain from his assent to the Bill, sending the future of conducting polls to Howrah civic body into jeopardy.
As the Calcutta High Court has posted the hearing of matter regarding holding civic polls across the state and also holding polls in Kolkata and Howrah civic bodies on Monday, the delay on part of Dhankhar to sign the Bill has put the elections scheduled on 19 December in uncertain territory.
It would be highly unlikely for the commission to hold elections on 19 December without the Governor’s approval to the Bill which was passed in the Assembly, according to officers at the state election commission. A source in the SEC claimed that unless the Governor puts pen to paper on the BiIl now, they would be constrained to even issue a notification let alone conducting polls.
SEC sources said that the state poll panel was now in the process of seeking consultation of the lawyers to veer round the fact whether there could be any possibility to hold polls to Kolkata Municipal Corporation alone as per schedule. Political observers say this was the latest tussle between the head of state and government on holding polls to only two civic bodies instead
of other civic bodies simultaenously.
Dhankhar had also written to Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee as to why he was not appraised regarding the recent proceedings in the House, especially on the resolution passed against the BSF’s extension of operational jurisdiction by the Centre from 15km to 50km within the Indian Border from International border.