Voting for Kolkata Municipal Corporation election begins
Kolkata/UNI: Polling for the much-anticipated Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) election began at 7 AM here on Sunday.
There are around 40.48 lakh electorates eligible to vote in the KMC elections in 144 wards.
At present, the KMC is ruled by the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The party has been governing the KMC since 2010.Voting will continue till 5 PM.
Counting of votes will take place on Dec 21 and the entire poll process will be completed by Dec 22.
Election has been delayed by around one and half years due to COVID-19 pandemic even as the term of the elected members of the KMC ended in May 2020.
While a direct contest is expected between the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), Congress and CPI (M) also campaigned aggressively for the polls in a bid to revive their fortunes after the assembly elections debacle.
TMC is looking to retain its winning streak in the state in the Dec 19 election, particularly as the BJP is still reeling from the scale of its Assembly poll defeat, and the defections from its ranks to the TMC since then.
For Sunday’s election, the ruling TMC has dropped 39 sitting councilors but retained its heavyweight leaders, including former mayor Firhad Hakim, former deputy mayor Atin Ghosh, MLAs Debashis Kumar, Debabrata Mazumdar, Ratna Chatterjee and Paresh Pal, and MP Mala Roy.
Mamata Banerjee’s sister-in-law Kajari Banerjee is a TMC candidate from Ward No. 73 in Bhawanipore
The BJP fielded several old-timers, but also went with 48 nominees below the age of 40. The Left Front and Congress retained their leaders who won last time.
Meanwhile, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday ordered the West Bengal State Election Commission to ensure surveillance by setting up CCTVs in all polling booths, strong rooms and counting centres for the December 19 Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) elections.
The division bench headed by Calcutta High Court Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R Bharadwaj gave the directive following a petition filed by BJP leader Debdutta Majhi seeking a court order for setting up surveillance fearing violence during the polls and in the post-poll scenario.
The state election commission told the court that such surveillance will be ensured in all the booths.