Updated: July 30, 2021 10:08:11 pm
The West Bengal BJP on Friday said if the hearing of its plea for disqualification of former party leader Mukul Roy, who has joined the ruling Trinamool Congress, as an MLA continues for long, it will move the high court over the issue.
After the second day’s hearing was held on Friday, Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay said that the matter will be heard again on August 17.
“We have faith in the Speaker’s office, we have to have it in a parliamentary system. But there is a limit to things. If there is a tendency to prolong the hearing phase for long, we will move the high court,” Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP told reporters.
The BJP MLA from Nandigram said that he has started discussing the issue with lawyers.
After attending the first hearing on the petition seeking Roy’s disqualification as an MLA at the Speaker’s chamber on July 17, Adhikari had said that a decision should be taken on the matter at the earliest and the saffron party will move the court, if necessary.
Adhikari, who defected to the BJP from the TMC in December last year, said that the saffron party has reasons to be sceptical as anti-defection law has never been enforced in the Assembly in the past.
“There are a number of such instances,” he said.
On the TMC’s meeting with the Election Commission in Delhi demanding that by-polls in six vacant West Bengal assembly seats be held at the earliest, Adhikari wondered how can that be possible when the state administration itself has declared that the Covid situation still remains in the state.
“The state itself has banned political meetings and religious processions while gathering of up to 50 people in closed-door auditoriums is allowed,” he said.
The state government on Thursday extended the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions till August 15 but allowed certain relaxations.
Adhikari said that vaccinating the majority of the voters, even one dose, is necessary before holding any election.
The TMC is keen on the by-polls as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who lost the election to Adhikari, needs to get elected within six months to continue as the CM. In that case, the by-elections must be conducted by November 5.
TMC spokesman Kunal Ghosh claimed that the BJP is desperate to delay the assembly by-polls as it is sure to lose the hustings after being rejected by the people of Bengal in the eight-phase polls held earlier this year.
That eight-phase election aggravated the Covid-19 situation as the BJP leaders from outside Bengal brought in scores of followers when the pandemic was spreading in the state, Ghosh alleged.
Asked about the TMC supremo’s trip to Delhi where she held parleys with senior opposition leaders to explore ways to cobble together an alliance of anti-BJP parties ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Adhikari refused to attach much importance to it.
“Only eating, meeting and sitting” nothing significant beyond that,” he said adding the Narendra Modi government is not on shaky ground.
Adhikari said that in 2019, he had joined several opposition leaders on the stage in the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata as a senior TMC leader. However, the BJP returned to power in the Lok Sabha polls that followed.
“Three years are still left before the Lok Sabha elections to take place. It is not easy to remove Narendra Modi (from power). Instead of raising the bogey of elections, everyone should fight the Covid pandemic now, ” he said.
On this, TMC Deputy Chief Whip in the assembly Tapas Roy said the saffron party had forecast the defeat of the Trinamool Congress in the assembly election held earlier this year.
“They even almost decided who will be the chief minister after coming to power. Everyone knows what happened afterwards,” he said.
On the waterlogging in different parts of Kolkata following very heavy rain in the past two days, Adhikari claimed that it was due to the incompetence of the ruling party.
Chairman of the board of administrators in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and former city Mayor Firhad Hakim said, “Due to excessive rain, several parts of Kolkata got flooded. But the KMC started work on war footing and the water level has gone down.”
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