Insight Online News
Kolkata, Aug 27 : As the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal continues to mount pressure on the Election Commission of India for conducting bypolls in the state, the BJP has criticised the ruling party for its ‘double standards’ on conducting polls in Bengal.
Speaking on the issue, state BJP President Dilip Ghosh said, “They (Trinamool) are saying that there is no Corona in the state. If that is so, why are they not allowing local trains to operate? Why are they not allowing schools to open?
“For the last one year, they have not conducted civic polls because of the pandemic. Just because of Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool is now putting pressure on the ECI for conducting the bypolls. All the municipalities and the corporations are being run by the administrators for the past one year. There is no elected body. This cannot happen in a democratic country. There cannot be two different rules on the same issue. They should come out clean first.
Ghosh’s reaction came after a delegation from the ruling party met the poll panel on Thursday, and urged it to conduct the pending by-elections in the state before six months.
The Trinamool delegation included Saugata Roy, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Jawhar Sircar, Sajda Ahmed and Mahua Moitra.
“Our meeting with the Election Commission was very cordial. The poll body said that its purpose is to hold elections and not withhold the polling process. We told the EC that the situation is conducive to hold the polls as the number of Covid cases has declined in the state.
“We also submitted Covid statistics of all the seven constituencies where bypolls are pending. The EC has said that it will consider the matter. We are hopeful for a fair response from the poll panel,” Trinamool MP Saugata Roy said at a press conference after the meeting with EC.
In a memorandum submitted to the poll panel, the Trinamool said that Covid cases in the state have come down to 830 from 70,000 and the time is right to hold the polls.
The delegation also requested the EC not to conduct the bypolls during the festival season beginning in October.
Earlier, the poll panel had sought the opinion of the political parties on holding the by-elections in Bengal.
Moitra also suggested that the EC may hold the by-elections in a phased manner (in three to four phases) in seven constituencies.
Seven Assembly seats are lying vacant in Bengal, including Bhawanipur in Kolkata where elected MLA Sovandeb Chattopadhyay resigned from the post to make way for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Banerjee, who lost in the Assembly polls against BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram, is likely to contest from this seat.
The Dinhata and Santipur Assembly seats fell vacant after BJP leaders Nisith Pramanik and Jagannath Sarkar resigned as MLAs to retain their Parliament memberships.
Similarly, elections could not be held in Samserganj and Jangipur in Murshidabad due to deaths of the candidates. The Kharda seat fell vacant in North 24-Parganas district after Trinamool candidate Kajal Sinha passed away before he could celebrate his victory.
The Gosaba seat also fell vacant after Trinamool’s Jayanta Naskar, who won the elections, succumbed to Covid-19 in June.
IANS / AGENCY