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Home / West-bengal / BJP to not field candidate against TMC nominee Jawhar Sircar in RS bypolls

BJP to not field candidate against TMC nominee Jawhar Sircar in RS bypolls

The decision was announced by Opposition leader in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari in a tweet on Thursday
The Election Commission of India had declared August 9 as the date of the bypoll.

Arkamoy Datta Majumdar   |   Calcutta   |   Published 30.07.21, 02:14 AM

The BJP has decided not to field a candidate against Trinamul Congress nominee Jawhar Sircar in a Rajya Sabha bypoll, but a section of leaders in the saffron camp felt the party should have ensured a contest though the result was a forgone conclusion.

The decision was announced by Opposition leader in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari in a tweet on Thursday.

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“Today is the last date for nomination of RS by-poll in WB. BJP is not putting up any candidate for this seat. Outcome of the poll is defined and known to all. Our fight against this irrational Govt. will continue,” Adhikari tweeted.

Trinamul fielded former civil servant Sircar for the seat that was vacated by Dinesh Trivedi before his switch to the BJP. Although the result in case of a contest — with Trinamul’s nearly three-fourths majority in the House — is a foregone conclusion, sections within the BJP had hoped that Sircar wouldn’t be allowed to win unopposed.

“There is, indeed, zero chance for us to win this by-poll. Yet, to keep the morale of the supporters high, a candidate should’ve been fielded,” said a state BJP functionary.

The Election Commission of India had declared August 9 as the date of the bypoll.

According to some BJP leaders, at a time when Mamata Banerjee is gaining traction in national politics, putting up a fight against her Rajya Sabha candidate would’ve sent a robust, positive message to the workers at the grassroots.

“These workers have been suffering at the hands of Trinamul goons since the Assembly poll results. They needed to see that the party left no stone unturned and was not letting shoulders droop,” said a source.

BJP sources said fielding a candidate was firmly opposed by Nandigram MLA Adhikari. The former Trinamul turncoat – despite intense dislike of several influential sections within the BJP state unit – has been wielding increasing clout in his new party.

A member of the BJP’s state committee said if the party had fielded a candidate, it would’ve been an opportunity to “expose” Mukul Roy.

Roy, the former Number Two in Trinamul, had joined the BJP in 2017 and went on to become its MLA this summer. But he returned to his former party after the election. The BJP has been trying to get Speaker Biman Banerjee to implement the anti-defection law against Roy.

However, there has been little progress so far.

Since each MLA has to show his/her vote to the agent of each candidate during the Rajya Sabha polls, if the BJP had fielded a candidate and Roy hadn’t voted for that person, it would have been easier for the party to “expose” him.

Revolt against Khan

The BJP’s Bishnupur MP Saumitra Khan, also the state unit chief of the BJP’s youth wing, found himself mired in yet another controversy on Thursday.

At least two members of the youth wing openly revolted against Khan’s decision to induct Moumita Saha as a secretary of the unit, in a conversation within its official WhatsApp group. Khan had removed them from the group.



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