Kolkata : The byelection to high-profile Bhawanipur Assembly seat, where a little over two lakh electorate will exercise their franchise in tomorrow’s voting day, has many a first of its kind and sets a precedent for a number of reasons involving the executive, India’s supreme poll body – the ECI – and finally the judiciary.
The political drama began to unfold in May when TMC’s elected member
Sovandeb Chattopadhyay resigned anticipating that their
supreme leader Mamata Banerjee would contest the by-poll following her
defeat at Nandigram to BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari
in March-April elections.
The TMC then began lobbying and campaigned for an immediate by-poll to
the Bhawanipur seat as the chief minister
has to prove her popular mandate within six months by November first
week or else she will have to quit the office
before her third term expires.
The ruling party had been pressing for repoll before the festival
months even as the Covid- 19 restriction was imposed
across the state in view of apprehension of a third wave pandemic.
While everyone thought that the ECI was not keen to hold a by-poll
amidst the Opposition parties’ insistence to have the pending
civic poll first, the country’s supreme poll body on September 6
announced to hold Bhawanipur by-poll at this month’s end.
The ECI’s announcement of bypoll in three assembly seats of Bhawanipur in the city and
Samshergunj and Jangipur in Murshidabad surprised
many as the poll body ignored four other seats bypoll in the state.
The ECI’s decision was challenged in a PIL in Calcutta High court
, which strictured West Bengal chief secretary HK Diwedi during
the judgement on Tuesday. Calcutta high court though ordered that
the bypoll will be on schedule, its has strictured the
state chief secretary.