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Kolkata, June 26 (IANS) The West Bengal government was on Thursday directed to inform the Calcutta High Court about its plans to hold elections in 17 municipalities.
The order by Justice Joymalyo Bagchi came after a petition was filed by the State Election Commission seeking a direction on polls in the 17 municipalities that were scheduled to be held by the end of June.
The state government was directed to file an affidavit about its stand on the issue by July 7 while the matter will come up for hearing July 11.
The Meera Pande-headed poll panel had written to the Mamata Banerjee government several times before eventually moving the high court on Tuesday.
The poll panel had similarly dragged the government over the conducting of the 2013 panchayat polls.
Defending the government’s decision to defer the polls in the municipalities, Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim accused the state poll panel of wasting taxpayers’ money by filing court cases.
"Of the 17, most of the municipalities have been upgraded to municipal corporations. So, if we hold the polls for municipalities now, we have to conduct polls for corporations after a few days. Who will pay the huge amount of money," Hakim said on Wednesday.