Polls or no polls? The Supreme Court is expected to pass judgement today on whether elections should be held to the 20,178 seats that Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress won without contest in the West Bengal panchayat polls in May.
If a poll is ordered, it will be hugely embarrassing for the Mamata Banerjee government as, in a way, it will confirm the opposition charge that the ruling Trinamool Congress resorted to so much violence and terror tactics in the run up to the panchayat polls, no one could file nominations to contest those 20,000 plus seats.
The judgement will be in response to an special leave petition or SLP filed by Bengal's State Election Commission in May
Opposition parties, CPM, BJP and Congress, had gone to Calcutta High Court in the run up to the panchayat polls, pleading that their candidates could not file nominations because of alleged violence by Trinamool and its terror tactics .
There were, indeed, cases of alleged Trinamool workers holding motorcycle rallies with swords in their hands outside nomination filing centres on nomination day, scaring aspirants away.
Calcutta High Court ordered the State Election Commission to accept electronically filed nomination papers. But the State Election Commission challenged that in Supreme Court.
In court, CPM raised the issue of uncontested wins. BJP did too. The Supreme Court expressed shock at the huge number of seats, 34.35 per cent, that had been won by Trinamool without contest.
It put an interim stay not only on electronic nomination filing but also on the publication of results of the uncontested seats.
Today, the Supreme Court will pass a judgement on those uncontested victories.