Ready to contest high court verdict up to apex court: Trinamool

Kolkata, May 11 (IANS) Further hardening its stand on the Calcutta High Court verdict upholding the primacy of the State Election Commission in holding the panchayat polls, the West Bengal government Saturday said it was ready to take the legal battle to the Supreme Court if it did not get a favourable response from a the division bench.

“We will go to the Supreme Court,” state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee told media persons when asked about the government’s stand if the division bench upheld the single judge order.

On Friday, Mukherjee had announced that the government would move the division bench Monday against the order, which he termed as “impractical, impossible to implement and unacceptable”. Giving a jolt to the government, the high court Friday ordered a three-phase panchayat polls with deployment of central paramilitary personnel.

In a verdict of far-reaching consequences, Justice Biswanath Sommader said the election time table would be declared by the SEC, which had moved a petition April 1 challenging the state government’s announcement of a two-stage poll under the supervision of only the state security forces.

The judge directed the state government to intimate to the SEC by Saturday about the list of observers as also on deployment of security forces needed for holding the polls to the “full satisfaction” of the commission.

A commission official said it was consulting its lawyers as the state government had not sent any communication about the observers and the security details

Meanwhile, Trinamool’s national general secretary Mukul Roy rejected the Communist Party of India-Marxist’s (CPI-M) charge that it did not want to hold the polls and said its percentage of votes has gone up in the recent by-elections.

The CPI-M had accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of taking contradictory stands on the polls as she was not in favour of holding them.

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