The Bharatiya Janata Party has taken a jibe at the current ruling party in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress for hastening to conduct bypolls.
This comes after TMC’s repeated beseeching and petitions to the Election Commission of India for conducting premature and early bypolls in seven assembly constituencies of the state.
BJP President for West Bengal, Dilip Ghosh, has alleged that it exposes the mad scramble for power that Mamata Banerjee, the de facto Chief Minister, is desirous of.
Mrs Banerjee currently doesn’t hold any Legislative Assembly seat and must get legally and democratically elected from any legitimate constituency to retain her power before the deadline of November 5, imposed by the EC.
Sobhondeb Chattopadhyay, TMC’s MLA from Bhawanipore, has reportedly vacated his seat for Mrs Banerjee. Bhawanipore has formerly been a stronghold for the TMC supremo and matriarch, as she has never lost an election from this constituency.
The quadrennial elections to the 294 constituencies of West Bengal’s Vidhan Sabha were conducted in eight phases this year in the period of March to April.
The elections saw TMC’s return to power with a comfortable majority but both increased vote and seat share for BJP as well, even though the latter eventually lost out due to lack of numbers.
Throughout the course of the election, the most controversial turning point was the fierce duel between Mamata Banerjee and her companion turned political adversary, Suvendu Adhikari, for the Nandigram constituency.
The latter had been fielded by BJP after he’d deserted TMC. The preliminary reports revealed that Mrs Banerjee was taking the lead.
However, in a dramatic turn of events, the election ended with Mrs Banerjee losing out on the seat by a margin of mere 1956 votes. This created an uproar, with the TMC asking for a recount, which was eventually turned down by the EC.
The elections were also notorious for the large rallies that were conducted by both the parties, BJP & TMC, flouting all COVID-19 norms which contributed majorly to the catastrophic, colossal and deadly second wave of infections both in the state, in particular, and the country, in general.
Bypolls & Other Developments
It is planned that Bhawanipore will be one among six other constituencies that will undergo bypolls, the ECI has confirmed.
It is imperative for Mrs Banerjee to win at least one seat to be deemed the de jure Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, Mr Ghosh, in an address to media persons in Kolkata, said that this is in stark contradiction to what Mrs Banerjee had stood for — deferring elections scheduled in the March-April period until after the COVID-19 crisis is averted.
This hurry is akin to double standards. He questioned why the elections to 118-odd municipalities are not being prioritized. People living in these regions are facing adverse issues and problems as there are no councillors, he added.
For the record, municipal polls are initiated by the State Election Commission. Mr Ghosh affirmed that he has spoken to the chief electoral officer of the state, apprising him of the current affairs and reiterated the urgency of the matter.
Talking of other developments, he rued the deplorable state of affairs of the education system and teachers in the state, after five teachers had attempted to commit suicide on Tuesday.
The teachers had demanded the reinstatement of their job requirements, in a demonstration in front of Bikash Bhavan. They consumed poison, much to the horror of the other demonstrators and protestors present.
Mr Ghosh lamented on the incident and said that the state has descended to a sunken pit of anarchy in the present regime. He also announced the Centre’s plan to distribute free rations and COVID-19 vaccines to the needy in the state.