TMC submits memorandum to EC, urges holding of bypolls in Bengal immediately
Kolkata: A five-member Trinamool Congress (TMC) delegation, on Thursday, submitted a memorandum to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) demanding that by-elections in the seven poll-bound Assembly constituencies in Bengal be held immediately.
The TMC delegation comprising Saugata Roy, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Jawhar Sircar, Mohua Moitra and Sajda Ahmed met CEC Sushil Chandra and other senior officials and submitted the memorandum stating that with decreasing number of Covid cases in the state, the condition is conducive to hold bypolls maintaining all Coronavirus protocols.
Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee had repeatedly said as the Covid situation was under control, bypolls should be held at the earliest. Addressing a press conference, Saugata Roy said Covid cases in Bengal had gone down from "33 per cent to 1 per cent." Moreover, in the seven constituencies where the by-elections are slated to be held, the Covid situation was fully under control, and hence, the time was ideal to hold bypolls, stated Roy.
The seven constituencies where by-elections would be held are Bhowanipore, Khardah, Gosaba, Shantipur, Dinhata, Shamshergunj and Jangipur.
TMC had on July 15 written to the Election Commission of India (ECI) demanding holding early by-elections. Again, another memorandum was submitted by TMC to the Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal, on August 6. The ECI had asked all political parties to give their opinion on holding by-elections in the seven Assembly seats by August 31.
Roy said the meeting was held in an ideal environment and senior officials told the delegation that it was the ECI's duty "to hold the by-elections." The officials added that they had also got reports from the seven constituencies where the by-elections would be held and found that the Covid situation was under control there.
Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said holding bypolls in September would be ideal as the festive season would begin in October. Mohua Moitra added that the ECI officials had opined that like the Assembly elections, bypolls might also be conducted in more than one phase.
Asked to comment on BJP's view that the situation was not congenial to hold by-elections in Bengal, Roy said after the devastating result in the Assembly elections, the BJP was scared of losing more seats in Bengal.
Speaking about the bypolls in Bhowanipur where Mamata Banerjee will be contesting, Roy said in Bhowanipur, the by-elections should be held by November 21 and not November 6 as circulated by a section of the media.