In a setback to the West Bengal BJP, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with the state panchayat elections, rejecting a plea by the saffron party for rescheduling them and deploying paramilitary forces.
A bench of Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, however, granted liberty to the aggrieved candidates to approach the state Election Commission.
The West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party had approached the apex court seeking the deployment of paramilitary forces alleging that its candidates were being blocked from filing their nomination papers by the Block Development Officers (BDOs) and were being targeted by the state's ruling Trinamool Congress.
The BDOs have been designated Assistant Panchayat Electoral Registration Officers for issuing and and accepting the nomination papers.
The panchayat elections are scheduled to be held on May 1, 3, and 5.
(With IANS inputs)