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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], September 5 (ANI): West Bengal unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday slammed the decision of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold the by-election in Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency of West Bengal that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee represented earlier.
The Bhabanipur assembly seat was vacated by the West Bengal agriculture minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May, making way for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to contest from the seat. The election on the seat is crucial for Banerjee to win if she has to remain the Chief Minister of the state.
Speaking to ANI, West Bengal BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya questioned why the by-election is only held in Bhabanipur and said ECI has put its reputation at stake with the decision and made itself a "laughing stock".
"With this announcement, the EC has put a question mark on its reputation. BJP is unhappy with this announcement. Why are by-polls announced only for Bhabanipur? Why not on other seats? We had already said that we are in favour of conducting by-elections at the right time. Where is the constitutional crisis that TMC is claiming? The people have the right to choose the representative of their choice. But, the law and order that should be there for elections to be held in the state. It is not there at this time," said Bhattacharya.
Referring to the allegations of post-poll violence, he said, "observation of NHRC is not the rule of law, but the ruler of the law has been established in West Bengal. Our 51 workers were killed. Many other party workers still could not enter their house."
The BJP spokesperson further questioned why the EC is allowing by-polls during the Covid-19 pandemic when not more than 50 people are permitted in social gatherings. "Is there no Covid-19 in Bhawanipur? ECI has put their reputation at stake and made a laughing stock of itself," he added.
The Commission has decided to hold by-polls in Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency on September 30. The Election Commission also informed that polls will also be held in Samserganj and Jangipur of West Bengal and Pipli (Odisha) on the same date. The counting of votes will be taken up on October 3. (ANI)