TMC urges EC to conduct bypolls on 10 assembly seats together

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (PTI) With the Election Commission announcing bypolls on four assembly seats in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress on Monday wrote to the poll panel and urged it to also conduct bypolls on six other assembly seats that are going vacant as the MLAs from there have been elected as MPs.

On a day when the bypolls were announced on four seats - Raiganj, Ranaghat Dakshin, Bagda and Maniktala, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) said there are six more seats that are going to be vacant as the MLAs fought and won in the Lok Sabha elections.

The six seats that will go vacant are Madarihat, Naihati, Taldangra, Mednipur, Sitai and Horao.

A TMC source said five MLAs from the party who got elected have already given their resignation to the speaker of West Bengal Assembly and he had sent the recommendation to the Election Commission to conduct a bypoll.  "Today, the Election Commission of India has declared bypolls for 4 Assembly seats in West Bengal... You are certainly aware of the fact that 6 other seats are soon going to be vacant as the sitting MLAs have been elected as MPs," the TMC said in its letter to the EC.  "There is absolutely no valid or rational reason for conducting staggered bypolls in the same state for different Assembly seats that are vacant and soon to be vacant. This only serves to affect governance & hinder smooth functioning of the administration by keeping the state in election mode constantly," the party said.  "It is prudent as well as resource effective to conduct bypolls for all 10 Assembly seats together...," the TMC said.  The TMC, which is in power in West Bengal, said the conduct of general elections 2024 too has come under immense criticism considering the absolute lack of intent on behalf of the Election Commission to enforce the Model Code of Conduct uniformly or to even ensure a level playing field for all the Opposition parties.

This latest move of holding staggered bypolls is yet another discriminatory act targeting the government of West Bengal, the party said.

"This is going to have serious adverse effects on smooth functioning of the government and on daily governance," the TMC said, urging the poll body to conduct bypolls on the 10 assembly seats together.  Among the six MLAs, who won the Lok Sabha polls, five are from the TMC, while one is from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).  Madarihat MLA, BJP's Manoj Tigga won the Alipurduar seat. Among the TMC leaders, Naihati MLA Partha Bhowmick won Barrackpur, Taldangra MLA Arup Chakraborty won Bankura, Medinipur MLA June Maliah won the Medinipur Lok Sabha seat, Sitai MLA Jagadish Chandra Barma won Coochbehar and Haroa MLA Haji Nurul Islam won Basirhat.   The Election Commission on Monday announced bypolls to 13 assembly constituencies across seven states, including four in West Bengal, on July 10.

The bypolls will be held on July 10 and the counting of votes will be on July 13. The Election Commission said the bypolls have to be completed before July 15. PTI AO AS AS