BJP seeking cancellation of two Trinamool candidates’ nominations triggers row in Bengal

Kolkata, May 15 (IANS) A war of words has broken out in West Bengal after the state unit of the BJP approached the Election Commission of India (ECI) demanding the cancellation of nominations of two Trinamool Congress candidates — Mala Roy from Kolkata Dakshin and Haji Nurul Islam from Basirhat.

The BJP claimed that since Mala Roy is also the chairperson of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), which is an ‘office of profit’, she should have resigned from the post before filing her nomination.

Roy has rubbished BJP’s argument by claiming that she was the KMC chairperson even when she contested and won the Kolkata Dakshin seat in 2019.

“So why is this late awakening? Since 2019, I have not drawn any salary as the KMC chairperson. The BJP knows for sure that it will face defeat in the elections and hence it is trying to malign me and my party over baseless issues,” Roy told mediapersons on Wednesday evening.

However, BJP General Secretary in West Bengal, Jagannath Chattopadhyay, argued that even if Roy claims that she is not drawing any salary as the chairperson of KMC, she will not be out of the ambit of ‘office of profit’.

“Even using office infrastructure comes within that ambit,” Chattopadhyay argued.

As regards Islam, the BJP argued that since he was a Trinamool MP from Basirhat from 2009 to 2014, he should have attached a ‘no dues certificate’ along with his nomination papers because as per rules, anyone who held a public position must produce a ‘no dues certificate’ issued by the government for the last 10 years.

On his part, Islam said that after being a Trinamool MP from 2009 to 2014, he also served as an MLA.

“No one raised this issue against me before. The BJP is doing this out of fear of defeat,” Islam said.

CPI-M central committee member Sujan Chakraborty, meanwhile, backed Chattopadhya’s arguments and said: “The nomination should be cancelled if the ‘no dues certificate’ is not attached. Previously, the nomination of BJP’s first candidate from Birbhum was cancelled on the same ground. Similarly, Mala Roy’s nomination should also be cancelled if there are lapses in the filing process.”

–IANS

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