Fighting shy of taking on TMC on Bengal streets, BJP reels from SC’s Contai order

In a setback for the BJP in West Bengal, the Supreme Court has stayed the Calcutta High Court’s order directing the state election panel to send the CCTV footage of the Contai municipal polls for a forensic audit to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL).

The order put the BJP at the again foot at a time when the birthday party has been making makes an attempt to restore itself in Bengal. The saffron birthday party has alleged rigging in many of the polls held within the state because it changed into the main Opposition within the wake of the March-April 2021 Assembly polls.

Soumendu Adhikari, ex-chairman of East Midnapore district’s Contai municipality, had filed a petition ahead of the prime court docket, alleging sales space shooting, solid vote casting, and violence all through the civic frame’s February 27 polls. While in search of contemporary polls after deployment of central forces, he pleaded for a forensic audit of the polls’s CCTV pictures. Following within the footsteps of his elder brother Suvendu Adhikari, present Leader of Opposition, Soumendu had joined the BJP after quitting the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in January final yr.

On April 26, the prime court docket directed the West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC) to ship the Contai polls’ CCTV pictures to the CFSL, Delhi, directing that the latter will decide if sales space shooting, EVM tampering, solid vote casting, or violence had taken position all through the polls.

The WBSEC moved the apex court docket in opposition to the prime court docket’s order. Hearing the subject, a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant on Monday stayed the prime court docket’s order and issued understand to Adhikari and others for his or her reaction. The bench stated, “Any post-electoral intervention has to be dealt with in accordance with the process known to the law, otherwise this will set a dangerous precedent across the political spectrum. This will happen across the country and that too on a PIL. As a constitutional court, we are not concerned only about the Contai elections”.

The BJP has been routed in a chain of civic frame elections and bypolls held within the state for the reason that Assembly polls. The birthday party has sought to financial institution basically on judiciary and central companies to nook the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC executive reasonably than taking it on politically. The infighting and dissension gripping the state BJP intensified after Balurghat MP Sukanta Majumdar took over as its president in September final yr.

This was once additionally mirrored all through the Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s fresh consult with to Bengal when making his intervention he put out a message of solidarity to the state leaders, whom he requested to struggle the struggle in opposition to the TMC executive politically and now not rely at the Centre’s serving to hand. He additionally dominated out imposition of President’s rule in Bengal.

Shah’s message got here within the backdrop of the TMC executive discovering itself in a place after the prime court docket ordered the CBI probes in quite a few instances.

In August final yr, the prime court docket, listening to a BJP petition, ordered a CBI inquiry into the incidents of killings and violence that rocked the state following the Assembly ballot effects.

Lat month, the prime court docket directed the CBI to investigate the Bhadu Sheikh murder case together with the Bogtui house-burning and killings.

After equivalent court docket orders, the CBI is now investigating a state-level variety check recruitment rip-off, an SSC recruitment rip-off, the murders of Congress councillor Tapan Kandu and an eyewitness within the case, and the rape and loss of life of a minor in Nadia district.

These orders, which put the Banerjee executive at the defensive, have been utilized by the BJP to focus on it over the state’s “abysmal” regulation and order state of affairs, with the birthday party’s critics declaring that as a substitute of hitting the roads on quite a lot of problems it’s been only relying on opposed court docket orders to take at the TMC.

Bengal BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya, alternatively, stated: “The Supreme Court has stayed the order and not disposed off the petition, which is still there. The petitioner and our party are sticking to our point that not a single election under the state election commission was free and fair. There was rampant rigging and electoral malpractices. Only the examination of CCTV footage will bring out the truth. The Supreme Court has stayed the high court order. Now our party and the petitioner will take legal opinions for the next course of action.”

Welcoming the apex court docket’s order, TMC state common secretary Kunal Ghosh stated: “Despite losing the election, the BJP is not accepting the people’s mandate. It is trying to create complications through the judiciary. Now they have been pulled up by the court. This is a clear indication that the saffron camp is desperate to hide its failure by raising a hue and cry. Today they have been exposed.”

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