Kolkata: West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Sunday (September 5) questioned Election Commission (EC) over its decision to hold by-polls in West Bengal and said if it is the responsibility of the EC to make Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee win the polls and allow her to retain the chief ministerial post.
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari defeated Banerjee in the Nandigram assembly constituency in the Assembly polls held earlier this year. She will now contest from Bhabanipur seat, which is going to the polls on September 30.
Speaking to ANI, Ghosh said, "The Election Commission has clearly written in its press note that it was told by the Chief Secretary that if this election is not conducted, then a situation of constitutional crisis will arise since Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is not elected to the state assembly."
"I believe that the responsibility of forming the new government rests with the Election Commission. It is their responsibility to conduct fair elections. The election has happened and the TMC has come with the majority. But making one particular person the chief minister is not the responsibility of the Election Commission," emphasised the BJP leader.
He said the by-elections were not conducted in Tamil Nadu, Bihar and even in Uttarakhand, where the BJP had to replace the chief minister. The BJP leader alleged that EC has taken the responsibility of making Mamata Banerjee win.
"In the EC press note, it is stated that election is being held for Mamata Banerjee to remain in the post of the chief minister. But what is the guarantee that she will win the election? Why is this being said a constitutional crisis? Any other can also become chief minister in her place," Ghosh said.
"For two-and-a-half years, the elections for the municipal bodies were not conducted stating the COVID situation. But why is there so much deliberation for the by-election? Bye-elections are not being held in many places in the rest of the country. Do the people there not have the right to elect their representatives?" he added.
Meanwhile, the TMC announced that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would contest from the Bhabanipur assembly constituency on Sunday. Further, TMC leaders Jakir Hossain and Amirul Islam will be the party's candidates from Jangipur and Samserganj seats, respectively.
On Saturday, the Election Commission has announced to hold by-elections to three assembly seats in West Bengal on September 30.
These constituencies include Bhabanipur, the traditional seat of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, from where she will contest the by-elections. Besides Bhabanipur, by-polls will be held in Samserganj and Jangipur constituencies. The counting of votes will take place on October 3.
In May, the Bhabanipur assembly seat was vacated by West Bengal Agriculture Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, making way for 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.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC registered a landslide victory in polls, winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly.
Despite aggressive campaigning, the BJP lost the polls but emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats.