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Kolkata: There is no end to the drama over the ensuing Panchayat elections in Bengal!

In the latest twist, Calcutta High Court has stayed an order of the West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC) wherein the poll panel cancelled the extension of the deadline for filing of nominations.

Justice Subrata Talukdar of the High Court has also directed SEC to take remedial steps to address the grievances of the opposition that several of their prospective candidates could not file nomination papers by the original deadline because of Trinamool violence. HC will hear the matter again tomorrow.

The original deadline for filing nominations for the Panchayat polls was yesterday 3 pm (9 April). With miscreants allegedly backed by Trinamool stopping opposition party candidates from filing nomination, BJP went to the Supreme Court urging for a remedy.

The Supreme Court yesterday gave its ruling saying that it will not intervene in the matter. However, at the same time, it advised the Bengal poll panel to adequately address the grievances of the opposition parties and ensure that all intending candidates are able to file nominations.

Responding to this, SEC last night issued an order extending the deadline for nomination filing by a day, that is, till 3 pm today (10 April). But this morning, the poll panel made a volte-face and cancelled the extension citing “legal infirmities” pointed by the state government and Trinamool.

Challenging the cancellation of the extended deadline, BJP moved the High Court. According to BJP counsel Pratap Banerjee, justice Talukdar has stayed the cancellation order of the SEC and directed it to adhere to the Supreme Court ruling.

SEC till late this evening has not taken any step towards this direction. Hence, all eyes are now set on the next hearing in the High Court tomorrow.

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