Bengal Panchayat candidates attacked by TMC goons allowed to file nominations via WhatsApp

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday approved the act of nine West Bengal Panchayat election candidates filing their nomination papers via WhatsApp, and directed the State Election Commission to approve the same. The High Court also added that if these nominations are rejected, it would again put a stay on election process like it did on 12 April.

These candidates who belong to a “Save Land, Livelihood, Home and Environment Committee” have alleged that sending nominations via WhatsApp was their only option, in light of TMC goons attacking them to prevent their filing of nominations for the Polerhat II gram panchayat.

As per the petitioner Sharmishta Chowdhury, they were attacked by over 100 TMC goons while going to the office of additional district magistrate, to file their nominations. The goons also allegedly confined them in a room for an hour and tore their nomination papers.

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The High Court on Monday had given a day extra to 11 candidates for filing their nomination papers, thus they had rushed to the Alipore treasury building armed with the court order, but even ended up getting attacked there. Thus they claimed to have no other resort left but to send their nomination via WhatsApp, and thus feared cancellation of their nomination owing to not being present in front of the authorised official.

Following this order, BJP’s national secretary Rahul Sinha has questioned as to why can’t the nominations also be filed online, and announced his intention to approach the High Court regarding the same.

Ever since the buildup to the West Bengal Panchayat elections has begun, various incidences of violence have been reported against opposition party workers like the BJP, who have accused the ruling TMC dispensation of the same. This included the TMC being accused of using violence to prevent other parties from filing nomination papers, thereby possibly winning unopposed on quite a few seats.

Following such attacks, which included 30 BJP workers being attacked in the state’s Birbhum district (which resulted in one death), the victims are all set to meet President Kovind to appraise him about the matter. As per West Bengal BJP Vice President Biswapriya Roy Chowdhury, the victims would also go to the party’s head office.

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