The West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC) announced on Monday that polls in four municipalities – Siliguri, Chandannagar, Bidhannagar, Asansol – would take place on January 22.
The commission did not mention polling dates for the Howrah Municipal Corporation, amid an ongoing feud between the TMC government and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar over a bill aimed at its bifurcation.
“This (the January 22 polls) will be the second phase of the West Bengal municipal elections. The counting of the votes will take place on January 25, ”State Election Commissioner Surav Das told the media on Monday. Elections for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation were held on December 19.
Das also pointed out that the ballot notification would be released on Tuesday and during this period if the state government gives the green light in the Howrah Municipal Corporation case, the civic body election would also be included. in this phase.
The state government wanted to separate 16 wards of the former municipality of Bally from the Howrah Municipal Corporation, and a bill in this regard was passed in the Assembly. However, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has yet to give his assent to the bill.
“Regarding the elections for Howrah Municipality, the state government hasn’t told us yet. If they inform us, we will include them accordingly, ”said the head of the state electoral commission.
The governor said on Sunday that he returned the Howrah Bifurcation Bill to the state government on November 24 with a number of issues for which “clarification has not been provided so far.” .
In 2015, the state government decided to dissolve the municipality of Bally and 16 wards of this municipality were included with those of the Howrah Municipal Corporation. A bill was then adopted and the number of districts of the Howrah Municipal Corporation increased from 50 to 66.
Das said on Monday that plans for security arrangements in the municipal elections would be decided after January 4. On that day, the commission will convene a meeting on law and order with the state administration. Das said, “As with the Kolkata municipal elections, all booths will be covered by CCTV cameras and the voters list will be adopted according to the list released by the Central Election Commission of India. The submission of applications will begin on December 28.
“The deadline for submitting nominations is January 3. January 6 has been set as the deadline for the withdrawal of nominations,” Das told media.