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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Bhabanipur Assembly Bypoll: BJP files complaint with poll panel about Mamata’s nomination papers

The Trinamool Congress supremo, who lost to BJP's Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram, has to win this by-election, scheduled on September 30, to retain her chief ministerial post.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 15, 2021 4:29:22 am
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after filing her nomination papers. (Express Photo by Partha Paul)

The BJP on Tuesday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission accusing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of “not mentioning” the pending criminal cases against her in her nomination papers for the upcoming Assembly bypoll in Bhabanipur.

BJP candidate for the constituency Priyanka Tibrewal’s Chief Election Agent Sajal Ghosh wrote to the poll panel raising objections to Banerjee’s declaration.

Ghosh said, “TMC’s candidate from Bhabanipur who happens to be the chief minister of the state has hid the truth regarding pending criminal cases against her. In her election affidavit, there is no mention of the pending criminal cases against her. Several criminal cases are lodged against her in Assam and she has not disclosed them in her affidavit. Therefore, I plead to object to the nomination/declaration filed by Mamata Banerjee. I appeal to the poll panel to declare the nomination as invalid and cancel her candidature.”

Ghosh, in his letter, also made a note of the number of cases filed at different police stations in Assam against Banerjee.

However, the Election Commission during scrutiny (which took place today) accepted Banerjee’s nomination from Bhabanipur.

This is not the first time the BJP has highlighted the same issue. Before the state Assembly polls earlier this year, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari had demanded the cancellation of the nomination of Mamata Banerjee from Nandigram citing the same reason with an addition that she didn’t disclose a CBI case against her too.

However, the CBI later clarified that there was no case pending against her and also the Election Commission paid no heed to the same cases (lodged by the Assam police) – which was again raised on Tuesday by Tibrewal’s election agent.

Slamming the BJP for making a mockery of themselves, senior TMC leader and state minister Firhad Hakim said, “This is an unrealistic complaint. The BJP doesn’t have any shame. They had raised the same allegations earlier too. The EC didn’t pay any heed to it. There is a communication gap within the BJP. They are indulging in falsehood to malign Banerjee’s image. This is nothing but an attempt to mislead the people. They cannot win the bypoll by sharing false information.”

Meanwhile, 15 companies of CAPF have arrived in West Bengal in the run-up to the Assembly polls in three seats- Bhabanipur (bypoll), Samserganj and Jangipur – scheduled on September 30. The central force will start area dominion and route from Wednesday. According to EC sources, another 37 companies of CAPF will arrive later. A total of 15 companies of the CAPF will be deployed in Bhabanipur. The EC has deployed a separate police observer for this Assembly segment. Central forces will be deployed in 100 per cent polling booths, says the EC source.

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