West Bengal Panchayat Polls: Relief for Mamata Banerjee as SC says no to re-election on uncontested seats

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New Delhi:

In a major relief for TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain pleas filed by the BJP and the CPI-M seeking re-elections on over 20,000 uncontested West Bengal Panchayat seats.

The apex court, however, allowed candidates, who were obstructed from filing nomination papers allegedly by Trinamool workers, to challenge polls by filing election petitions. The court has given 30 days’ time limit for filing election petitions.

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According to the West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC), 20,076 of the 58,692 Panchayat seats were uncontested. The TMC had won 16,814 of the 48,650-gram Panchayat seats and 3,059 of 9,217 Panchayat Samiti seats uncontested. Besides this, Banerjee's party was declared winner in 203 of the 825 Zilla Parishad seats.

Earlier in July 2018, the apex court had observed that “thousands and thousands” of the seats remained uncontested which showed that the grassroots democracy was not working in the state.

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