Kolkata: The West Bengal State Election Commission on Monday announced that polls to four municipal corporations — Siliguri, Chandannagar, Bidhannagar, Asansol — will be held on January 22.

The commission left out Howrah Municipal Corporation, amid the ongoing row between the Mamata Banerjee government and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar over a bill seeking its bifurcation.

Making the announcement at his office here, State Election Commissioner Saurav Das said that nomination filing for the January 22 polls, to be held from 7 am to 5 pm, will commence on December 28.

“The last date for submitting nomination is January 3. The papers will be scrutinised the day after. January 6 has been fixed as the last date for withdrawing the nominations,” Das told reporters.

Of the four, Asansol is the largest municipal corporation with 106 seats, followed by Siliguri with 47, Chandannagar with 33 and Bidhannagar with 41 wards, he said.

Repoll, if any, will be held on January 24, the SEC said.

Counting of votes will be held on January 25, 2022.

“The commission has adopted electoral rolls updated up to November 1, 2021,” Das said.

He also said that model code of conduct will be applicable in the poll-bound areas from Monday.

The governor on Sunday said that he had on November 24 sent back the bifurcation bill — which seeks to carve out Bally Municipality out of Howrah Municipal Corporation — to the state government, with a number of queries for which clarifications have not been provided this far.

The SEC and the West Bengal government had earlier told the Calcutta High Court that plans were afoot to hold elections to five municipal corporations in the state on January 22 and the remaining civic bodies, where polls are due, on February 27.

Elections to Kolkata Municipal Corporation were held on December 19.

Meanwhile, members of the opposition BJP, the Left Front and the CPI(M) on Monday “walked out” of an all-party meet convened by the State Election Commission, claiming that there was “no commitment” on holding Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) elections.

The TMC, however, claimed that the opposition leaders were present all throughout the meeting

“We walked out of the meeting for two reasons — SEC gave a vague response when asked about HMC polls and our request for postponing the elections to four municipal corporations by a week was not entertained,” BJP MP Arjun Singh said.

Echoing him, CPI (M) leader Rabin Deb said the Left Front members stormed out as there was no word on Howrah Municipal Corporation polls.

“The SEC also did not pay attention to our demand for taking into consideration the voter list updated till January 2022. It wants to go by the list that was updated till November 1, 2021,” he said.

Senior TMC leader Tapas Roy said the opposition wanted to delay the polling process as they were afraid to face defeat.

“They (opposition leaders) were all there during the meeting. Dates for HMC polls could not be announced as the governor is holding up the bill and issuing misleading statements at BJP’s behest,” he alleged.

Elections to Kolkata Municipal Corporation were held on December 19.

The ruling TMC won the KMC elections, clinching 134 of 144 seats in a ringing endorsement for the party, seven months after its landslide win in the assembly polls.

The BJP, which lost much of its steam after the assembly poll defeat, managed to win just three wards. The Congress and the CPI (M)-led Left Front bagged two wards each, and Independents three.

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