West Bengal Chief Minister-led Trinamool Congress (TMC), passed a trail at the Supreme Court on friday, where a judgment on the fairness of the 20,178 seats that Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress pocketed without any contest in the Panchayat polls held in May this year.
The Supreme Court, according to reports, opined in its judgment that fresh panchayat polls will not be held in West Bengal. However, the apex court left room for the contestants, who alleged that they were not allowed to file their nominations, could register fresh petitions.
The Mamata Banerjee led government, through the judgment, got a big reprieve by this judgment, it was not only a face-saver but also saved the TMC from embarrassment, as the claims made, so far, by the oppositions that the poll result was nothing but a consequence of terror tactics was not considered.
The oppositions, particularly the BJP has been crying foul from the beginning, alleging that Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress was using violence to scare people from filing nominations, in the run-up to the panchayat polls this year for more than 20,000 seats.
Earlier this year most of the opposition parties in West Bengal, including the BJP, CPI (M), and the Congress had registered a case in the Calcutta High Court, alleging that their members were not allowed to file nomination in the 20,000 plus seats, owing to the Trinamool Congress’s terror tactics and violence.
The Calcutta High Court had, hearing the petition filed by opposition parties, at the time, ordered the West Bengal State Election Commission to accept nomination papers those were filed electronically. The state Election Commission had challenged the order in Supreme Court.
Today’s judgment, is primarily a face-saver for TMC, and also comes in response to a special leave petition (SLP) that was filed by the state Election Commission in May this year.
Moreover, many cases of Trinamool party members coming out holding weapons, and also bringing out bike-rallies with TMC workers welding swords were reported during the run-up to the panchayat elections this May.
During filing of the petition, the CPM and BJP had raised the subject of uncontested wins in more than 20,000 plus seats, to which the Supreme Court had expressed surprise. The election saw TMC win around 34.35 per cent seats uncontested.
Expressing shock at the situation, the Supreme Court had, accepted the case and put an interim stay on the publication of the election results. The apex body had also put a stay on filing of nomination electronically.