The BJP on Friday told the Supreme Court that “democracy is being murdered” in West Bengal by the ruling Trinamool Congress, which it claimed was not allowing its candidates to submit nomination documents for panchayat polls. The Trinamool responded, saying that it was the BJP that was fomenting problems in the state.
Chief defender Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the BJP, told Justices R K Agrawal and A M Sapre that “democracy is being murdered” in the state. Citing statistics from the State Electoral Commission of West Bengal (WBSEC), he said that the BJP candidates were not even receiving nomination documents. The court will issue its order in the matter on April 9.
The BJP state and Congress moved the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Calcutta, respectively, seeking court intervention to allow their candidates to submit nominations for panchayat polls as of May 1. Both sides also sought the deployment of central paramilitary forces for orderly elections.
“The ruling party is involved in the violence of the large-scale polls, we are not receiving nomination documents, I have videos that show violence in many places,” Rohatgi said, adding that the BJP and the Congress, which are archrivals, are offended. and seek the same remedy. “This is a problematic state,” he said. Rohatgi asked the court to indicate that WBSEC upload the nomination form on its website so that candidates can download it. He asked the court to extend the last nomination date, which is April 9, and order the Center to deploy the paramilitary forces.
Additional Attorney General Tushar Mehta, who showed up for the Center, said the central government was willing to deploy paramilitary forces if there was a requisition by the SEC or a court order. Lead A M Singhvi, who appeared in West Bengal, criticized the BJP’s assertions and said there were many districts where BJP candidates had submitted more nomination documents than the Trinamool candidates. “There are problems in the state, but the question is who is fomenting that problem, you (BJP) do not have a presence there, so you foment problems and you want paramilitary forces,” he said.
Singhvi said the petition was aimed at creating headlines in the media, and that the BJP had not cited specific cases of an attacked candidate. He said that it was an established law that once the voting process started, it can not be modified, and if they have any complaints, they can submit electoral requests.