The Left Front has announced that it would organise a long-term agitation from 29 December in front of the State Election Commission’s office, protesting against the SEC’s decision to exclude Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) and instead hold polls only to four municipal corporations.
CPIM leader, Rabin Deb, addressing a press conference, said that the Left Front will begin its agitation on 29 December from 2 pm, in front of the SEC office. He said that the decision of the SEC to exclude HMC is unacceptable since it allegedly indicates that the election body is making random decisions from time to time as per the convenience of the state government and in complete violation of the Constitution and election laws.
“The state government’s urban development and municipal affairs department had recently written to SEC about holding polls to five municipal corporations which include Howrah. But today the SEC blatantly refused to include Howrah saying the state has not given any intimation. What should this mean? It is ridiculous that the election body is time and again acting in favour of the state government,” he said, and added that Howrah is one of the municipal corporations that is being run by administrators for the longest time since its term had ended in 2018.
“Among the 10 political parties invited for the all-party meeting, nine of us protested against the SEC’s decision,” he said. Mr Deb further questioned the intention of the SEC to hold the polls at a time when several holidays are lined up. “How is the election body holding the polls on 22 January despite knowing that 23 January is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birthday which is observed country-wide.
Then again on 25 January, it is National Voter’s Day when the SEC has announced the counting will take place. This is ludicrous since this day is always celebrated in all districts of the state but now it seems an effort is being put to underestimate the relevance of National Voter’s Day. On 26 January, it is Republic Day and hence courts will also remain closed which only means no affidavits can be filed. This seems like a preplanned strategy of the state government,” he said.