SC to hear BJP plea seeking forces for Bengal rural polls

SC to hear BJP plea seeking forces for Bengal rural polls

New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will hear a BJP plea seeking the deployment of Central Paramilitary Forces in West Bengal for the panchayat elections alleging that its candidates were being beaten up and not allowed to file their nominations.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra agreed to hear the plea on Friday as the matter was mentioned for an urgent hearing by advocate Aishwarya Bhati.

The petition has been moved by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) West Bengal unit's General Secretary Pratap Banerjee.

Seeking police protection for collecting and filing of the nomination papers, the petition has sought direction to West Bengal government to call for Central paramilitary forces for maintaining law and order during the panchayat elections.

It has sought direction that the nomination process should not be closed till BJP candidates were able to file their nomination papers.

Blaming the West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC), the petition has contended that the rights of BJP candidates were being "violated and trampled" by Block Development Officers who are refusing to give nomination papers.

Block Development Officers have been designated Assistant Panchayat Electoral Registration Officers.

It has contended that the actions of the State Election Commission were being "aided and abetted" by the state authorities by creating fear psychosis by intimidating the candidates and the families.

The petitioner lawyer has contended that BJP workers were being killed and on Wednesday one of their Dalit leaders was murdered.

Accusing ruling Trinamool Congress of disturbing the level playing field by resorting to the use of threats with the help of anti-social elements against their rivals, the petition said that the State Election Commission which is tasked with upholding the sanctity and purity of electoral process is acting as a mute spectator

The last date for filing nomination papers is April 9, the election to panchayats will take place in three phases on May 1, 3 and 5. The counting of votes will take place on May 8.

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