Narada case: Calcutta High Court adjourns hearing till September 13

Express News Service

KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday accepted public interest litigation (PIL) challenging by-election in the Bhowanipore Assembly constituency on September 30 from where CM Mamata Banerjee will contest. The court will hear the matter on Monday.

Sabyasachi Chatterjee, the petitioner, told the court that the chief secretary of the state wrote to the poll panel requesting to conduct the by-poll in Bhowanipore as Mamata Banerjee will contest from there. “It was told that her deadline will end in November. The chief secretary also said that the chief minister would contest from Bhowanipore and if the by-election is not held on time, there will be administrative exigencies in the state. Why should a bureaucrat mention about who will contest from Bhowanipore in his letter to the Commission,” he said in his petition.

While announcing the by-election in Bhowanipore, the Commission said it decided to hold the by-poll after a request from the chief secretary, West Bengal, citing administrative exigencies. “While the Commission has decided not to hold by-elections in other 31 Assembly constituencies across the country, considering the constitutional exigency and special request from the state of West Bengal, it has decided to hold the by-election in Bhowanipore,” the poll panel had said in its statement.

BJP’s Bengal chapter did not welcome the poll panel’s decision and they said it was aimed to make sure that Mamata can continue as the chief minister.

“This decision of holding a by-election in one constituency is against the Constitution. There are other four constituencies where by-poll is yet to be held,” said petitioner Chatterjee.

The Bengal CM, however, is already in poll mode. While addressing party workers on Thursday, Mamata said, “All of you must swing into action instead of sitting idle at home. You will have to make sure that BJP will not be able to hatch any conspiracy this time. In Nandigram, the conspiracy hatched by the BJP led to my defeat.”

Mamata assigned Trinamool Congress’s senior functionaries such as Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim to carry out campaigns in the area maintaining the guideline given by the Commission in the wake of the Covid pandemic.