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Cal HC asks EC to file affidavit on chief secy’s letter

Calcutta High Court

Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata (The Hawk): Calcutta High Court has asked the Election Commission of India (ECI) to submit an affidavit by Friday over the chief secretary HK Dwivedi’s comment that if a bypoll in Bhabanipur was conducted in time then there can be a constitutional crisis in the state.

According to HC sources, the court, following lawyer Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharjee’s appeal that ECI should file an affidavit, has given the EC 24 hours to file the same.

“The EC should have to mention whether they accepted the plea of West Bengal chief secretary in allowing the bypoll and will also have to mention the reason behind it,” said the court sources.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had objected to the chief secretary’s claim at a virtual meeting with the EC that West Bengal will face a ‘constitutional crisis’ if the bypoll at Bhabanipur was not conducted in time.

It can be recalled that chief minister Mamata Banerjee had lost to leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram. She had to win as a legislator to hold on to the chief ministerial post. Bhabanipur MLA Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay had vacated the Bhabanipur seat for Mamata.

Meanwhile, BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal’s election agent Sajal Ghosh, on Thursday, wrote to EC claiming Priyanka Tibrewal was blocked from campaigning near chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s residence once again.

“We demand immediate removal of the police officers on duty. BJP will again go and campaign at Harish Chatterjee Street,” read the letter.

The BJP candidate and the party’s state president were not allowed to enter the street near the chief minister’s residence twice before citing security reasons and lack of permission.

Deputy commissioner of police (South) Akash Magharia was heard saying that the BJP campaigners did not have vaccination certificates and tried to breach the high-security zone for which they were diverted to another lane.