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Confusion over Bhavinpur by-election: Confusion over Bhavinpur by-election has not stopped.

Confusion over Bhavinpur by-election: Confusion over Bhavinpur by-election has not stopped.
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Confusion over Bhavinpur by-election: Confusion over Bhavinpur by-election has not stopped.

Confusion over Bhavinpur by-election: Confusion over Bhavinpur by-election has not stopped.

Kolkata
A public interest litigation has been filed in the Calcutta High Court questioning the jurisdiction of the West Bengal Chief Secretary. The Chief Secretary had requested the Election Commission to hold by-polls in the Bhawanipur Assembly constituency in Kolkata. The petition is objected to. Bhavinpur is the traditional assembly seat of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

In its notification, the Election Commission said that the by-polls in South Kolkata constituency were being held as a special matter at the request of the state government, sparking controversy over the announcement of by-polls in Bhawanipur. Chief Secretary H.K. Citing Dwivedi’s statement, the Election Commission said, “According to Article 164 (4) of the Constitution, a minister who is not a member of the state legislature for six consecutive months is considered to have expired at the end of that period.” Staying in a high executive position will create a constitutional crisis and a void. He also said that by taking into account the administrative needs and public interest and to avoid a vacancy in the state, a by-election could be held in Bhawanipur, Kolkata, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wants to contest.

‘No by-elections in 31st and 3rd parliamentary constituencies’
“Considering the information and views of the Chief Secretaries of States and the concerned Chief Electoral Officers, the Commission has decided not to hold by-elections in 31 other Assembly constituencies and 3 Parliamentary constituencies and the constitutional requirement of the State is West Bengal,” the notification said. At a special request, it has been decided to hold by-elections in Bhawanipur Assembly constituency.

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‘Mamata used Chief Secretary’
Petitioner Sion Bandopadhyay, in his PIL, opposed the notification and questioned the jurisdiction of the Chief Secretary. The petitioner asked whether the state bureaucrats have the right to request the Election Commission to hold elections in a particular constituency. Because the Chief Minister of the state intends to contest from there. It has also been alleged that Mamata Banerjee used Chief Secretary Dwivedi to hold by-elections in only one seat. The public interest litigation has also questioned the secession of a particular constituency and holding of elections there.

‘Why by-polls are being held in Bhawanipur’
The petitioner questioned that apart from Bhawanipur, there are other assembly constituencies like Gosaba, Kharda, Shantipur and Dinhata where seats are vacant, then why was Bhawanipur considered an exception? What kind of constitutional crisis would there be if by-elections were not held in this South Kolkata constituency?

BJP can also go to court
On the other hand, Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh had earlier threatened to go to court over the announcement of by-elections. “What kind of constitutional crisis will arise if elections are not held in Bhawanipur? Does the Chief Secretary suggest that a constitutional crisis could ensue if Mamata Banerjee is not the Chief Minister of the state? As Chief Secretary, it is not his responsibility to look into these matters. The Election Commission is an autonomous body, which should not be influenced by anyone.

Suvendu officials will meet Amit Shah
Meanwhile, Suvendu Adhikari, Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, is in Delhi where he is expected to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah. It is being speculated that the officials may discuss the issue of Bhawanipur by-election with the Home Minister.

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