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Mamata Banerjee’s fight for top post on as Calcutta High Court refuses interference on Sept 30 By-polls

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KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court dismissed a challenge to the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision to prioritise bye-elections in the Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency, where West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee is set to run on September 30.

However, a Bench comprised of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj criticised the West Bengal Government’s Chief Secretary for writing to the ECI in order to expedite the Bhabanipur by-polls, according to a Live Law. in report.

The Chief Secretary had asked the ECI to hold the by-elections for the Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency as soon as possible, claiming that if the process is not accelerated, there will be a “vacuum in the top executive,” resulting in a “constitutional crisis” in the State.

Bypoll to Bhabanipur seat, earlier represented by Banerjee in 2011 and 2016, was necessitated following the resignation of TMC MLA Sovandeb Chattopadhyay to facilitate the party supremo’s election to the assembly.

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In this regard, the ECI issued a notification on September 6 stating that the by-election for the 159-Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency would be held on September 30, citing the urgency and special request received from the Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal to hold the by-election.

The Bench expressed strong reservations about the Chief Secretary’s conduct.

CM Mamata Banerjee whose party won a thumping majority in the 2021 assembly elections though she herself lost to her friend turned foe Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram, which is seen as one of the biggest upset this election.

She took an oath as Chief Minister of West Bengal for the third time but according to the Constitution, a person has to get elected to the legislature within six months of taking oath as a minister.

She decided to contest from the constituency of Bhabanipur which she represented in 2011 and 2016 respectively, though this time she is up against a tough competitor, 41-year-old Calcutta high court lawyer Priyanka Tibrewal with a large north Indian population in the constituency the competition is all set to be a tough one.

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