Withdrawal of nominations for the July 8 panchayat polls in the state had been much lesser compared to the previous civic body polls in 2018, West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) informed the Calcutta High Court on Thursday.
The number of valid nominations is also much higher this time, it said.
In an affidavit filed by the state election commission on this count, it has mentioned that the number of nomination withdrawal this time had been just 20,612 as against a total number of 2,28,158 valid nominations.
As per the affidavit, in 2018, the number of nomination withdrawal was 23,619 as against a total number of 1,33,673 valid nominations.
The figures presented by the commission at the court says while the nominations had been higher this time, the withdrawal had been lower as compared to the corresponding figures in 2018. The commission has also informed the Calcutta High Court of receiving as many as 754 complaints of irregularities during the nomination phase and it has ordered through investigation in each of these cases.
It has also informed the court the process of identification of the sensitive booth in the state has already started and it has directly asked all the district magistrates and district police superintendents to expedite the process.
The commission has maintained that experiences in the past rural civic body polls will be the basis of identifying the sensitive booths. It has also claimed that as per the directive of the Calcutta High Court the CCTV footage of all the election booths will be preserved.
On Wednesday, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court’s Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam advised the commission to operate in such a manner so that the faith of the general people on it is restored.
“You are constantly telling the court that you have made all the arrangements. But you are giving the details of the arrangement that you have made. Whatever you do you should ensure that the faith of the common people is restored. The commission should win the confidence of the people by ensuring free and fair polls,” Justice Sivagnanam was heard telling the counsel of commission at an hearing on a contempt-of- court petition filed against commission on deployment of central armed forces for the forthcoming panchayat elections in the state.