The West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) is considering to withdraw the certificates of candidates who have already been declared uncontested winners by the WBSEC in different zilla parishads (ZP), panchayat samitis (PS) and gram panchayat (GP) polls in districts.
Sources in the commission said that they are exploring this move after the division bench of the High Court directed the WBSEC to accept the valid e-nominations of candidates who had filed their nominations through email before 3 p.m. on 23 April.
HC issued this directive on Tuesday after the CPI-M moved the court against the WBSEC’s denial to accept the e-nominations filed by the party candidates before 3 p.m. on the day. It will be a major setback to the ruling Trinamool Congress particularly in Birbhum district if the WBSEC takes such a drastic and ‘unprecedented’ move, felt some political analysts in the city.
For instance, CPI-M candidates had filed their nominations through e-mail in 20 ZP, 932 GP and 32 PS by this stipulated deadline. As per the HC directive, all these e-nominations filed by the CPI-M candidates should be accepted by the commission, they said adding that Trinamul candidates can never be announced as ‘uncontested’ winners.
Trinamul candidates were declared ‘uncontested’ winners in all the 42 seats in the ZP in Birbhum district. But the Trinamul leadership inBirbhum district felt that the WBSEC could never withdraw the winning certificates of their party candidates in the ZP because the commission itself had issued them the certificates.
On the other hand, the commission has already decided to move the Supreme Court challenging the HC’s order to accept the e-nominations of CPI-M candidates. Officials and lawyers of the commission armed with documents rushed to the apex court in Delhi on Wednesday to file the petition.
But the commission could not file the petition because some mistakes were detected in their application for the move in the apex court on Wednesday. It will file petition on Thursday for an immediate hearing on the case because the tentative date for panchayat polls is on 14 May.
The commission has also decided to strengthen the vigilance in polling booths if the contesting political parties fail to depute their election agents in these poll premises.
WBSEC has issued a notification on Wednesday directing the district magistrates and superintendents of police in districts directing them to arrange for strong security vigilance in the booths even if no election agents are found there.