The BJP leadership in Bengal has urged the Election Commission to put the by-polls on hold till the pandemic is over, days after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the situation is conducive for holding by-polls and civic polls.
BJP West Bengal general secretary Sayantan Basu said, “The situation in Bengal is not conducive for organising by-polls. If by-polls and civic polls are held amid the pandemic, it might increase the positivity rate.”
“Mamata Banerjee had claimed earlier that Covid cases had increased due to the eight-phase polls. Even if the positivity rate is low, holding polls might be detrimental and increase th e chances of Covid spread. We urge the EC to keep the polls on hold,” Sayantan said. ET gathers that BJP’s organisational structure is not in proper shape with a number of workers defecting to the TMC at the grassroots level. The party is consolidating its base ahead of the municipal polls, with several senior turncoat leaders eager to leave the BJP.
Many workers across the state are still displaced and staying away from their villages in shelters. These are the reasons for BJP’s intent to delay the polls, sources said. The BJP recently observed ‘Black Day’ comparing the present situation in Bengal with ‘The Emergency.’
However, Dilip Ghosh, the Bengal BJP chief, has said that they have started preparing for the municipal polls, after reviewing the reasons behind the assembly poll debacle.
Mamata Banerjee had mentioned on Thursday that Covid positivity rate has come down from 33% during the eight phases of the Bengal assembly polls, to 3.61% now. “It will go further down to around 1% in the coming ten days,” she had said.
Meanwhile, state BJP vice-president Jai Prakash Majumdar said, “If elections are not held, then Mamata will lose her CM post and someone else from her party will become the CM. This is why the TMC chief wants the polls.” Banerjee was defeated in Nandigram by her former aide Suvendu Adhikari.
She will be contesting from Bhawanipore in South Kolkata, which has been vacated by Sobhondeb Chattopadhyay. She had won from this assembly seat twice in 2011 and 2016.