west bengal

PM Modi to address ‘Matua Dharma Maha Mela 2022’

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually address ‘Matua Dharma Maha Mela 2022’ organised at Shreedham Thakurnagar in West Bengal’s Thakurbari on the occasion of the 211th birth anniversary of Shree Shree Harichand Thakur on Tuesday.

Matua Dharma Maha Mela 2022 is being organised by All India Matua Mahasangha beginning on Tuesday. The event will culminate on April 5.
“I am honoured to be addressing the Matua Dharma Maha Mela 2022 at 4:30 PM tomorrow, 29th March. We shall also mark the Jayanti of the great Sri Sri Harichand Thakur Ji, who devoted his entire life to social justice and public welfare,” PM Modi had tweeted on Monday.

Harichand Thakur devoted his life to the cause of betterment of the oppressed, downtrodden, and deprived persons in undivided Bengal during the pre-independence era. The social and religious movement started by him originated from Orakandi (now in Bangladesh) in 1860 and led to the formation of the Matua Dharma, said a release by the Prime Minister’s Office. (ANI)

Bangla Pokkho’ urges Modi to form Bengal Regiment in Indian Army

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] (ANI): Bangla Pokkho, a Bengali nationalist group, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to form a Bengal Regiment in the Indian Army, terming it a long-standing demand.
According to the organisation, it would be a real tribute to Netaji by forming a Bengal Regiment in the Indian Army. “On the 125th birth anniversary of the greatest leader from Bengal, Subhash Chandra Bose, the Bengalis have a very specific demand, that is the formation of a Bengal regiment within the Indian Army keeping in mind the rights and stakeholdership of the 10 crore Bengali people in the Indian Union”, wrote the Bangla Pokko group in their mail.
He argued that the Bengalis had been at the forefront of the anti-British freedom struggle and had sacrificed the most among all the nationalists of the Indian Union-Subhash Chandra Bose, Khudiram Bose, Bagha Jatin, Matarda Shurjo Sen and many others. “We hope that the Union government takes steps to form the Bengali regiment, to honour the contribution of the innumerable Bengali martyrs in freedom struggle keeping in mind the rights of Bengali people”, the nationalist organisation further added. (Image source: Instagram)

Marijuana weighing 690 kgs seized in WB

            

Cooch Behar (West Bengal) [India], (ANI): Narcotics Control Bureau, Kolkata unit has seized marijuana weighing 690 kgs from a border village in the Cooch Behar district and arrested two persons in the matter.

The accused in the matter have been identified as Arjun Mandal and Prasanta Mandal, said the NCB.
“2 persons namely, Arjun Mandal, 40yrs, & Prasanta Mandal, 28yrs, have been arrested by NCB Kolkata after seizing 690 kgs of marijuana from a house of a border village in Cooch Behar by the Sitalkuchi PS,” said the NCB.

The source of the drugs is said to be at Meghpala, Coochbehar and its destination were Uttar Pradesh and Bangladesh, according to the NCB.

Further important linkages in the case are being worked upon. (ANI)

West Bengal legislative assembly hears Mukul Roy’s defection case, next hearing on January 28

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] (ANI): Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy’s defection case was heard before the West Bengal Legislative Assembly on Wednesday where the Speaker observed that they will abide by the Supreme Court’s order in Roy’s case.
“We’ll abide by the order of the Supreme Court and within a due course of time, the order on Mukul Roy will be out”, said West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee. He further informed that the next hearing date would be January 28. As per information, case submission from Mukul Roy’s side ended today and BJP is yet to reply in the case.
“The hearing took place today. I wanted to continue it tomorrow as well but the lawyer asked for the date of January 28”, the Speaker added.
The Supreme Court on Monday has directed the Speaker for a speedy discussion on Mukul Roy’s disqualification case. The Apex Court hopes to take a concrete decision in the second week of February.
In June 2021, West Bengal Leader of opposition, Suvendu Adhikari had filed a petition before the Speaker, seeking the disqualification of Roy as a member of the Assembly, on the grounds of his defection to the TMC.
Further BJP MLA Ambika Roy had advanced a plea challenging Mukul Roy’s election as chairman of the public accounts committee (PAC). (Image source: Instagram)

West Bengal eases COVID restrictions, allows gyms to operate with 50 pc capacity

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] (ANI): West Bengal government has decided to ease COVID-19 restrictions in the state from January 18.
According to the new notification, gyms can operate with 50 per cent capacity till 9 pm provided staff and users are fully vaccinated or RTPCR negative. The government has allowed Jatra (local theatres) with 50 per cent capacity till 9 pm while outdoor shooting for films and TV programmes are allowed in the state following COVID appropriate protocols.
The government has asked people to wear masks and maintain social distancing in view of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, West Bengal logged 9,385 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours taking the total active cases in the state to 1,58,623, stated the health bulletin. (Image source: Instagram)

West Bengal: BJP writes to State Election Commission seeking postponement of civic polls amid surge in COVID cases

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] (ANI): In view of the surge in COVID-19 cases, the West Bengal BJP on Friday wrote to the State Election Commission (SEC) requesting to postpone the municipality elections for a month.
“We would like to add since the notification of said elections on December 28, 2021, as per the Bulletin of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal, the daily reported COVID cases jumped from 732 to 23,467 on 13 January 2022,” it said. The BJP said that the positivity rate has also jumped from 2.35 per cent on 28 December 2021 to 32.13 per cent on 13 January 2022 in the state.
“We draw your attention to the Order of the Hon’ble High Court at Calcutta quote “Hence, we dispose of the present petition with a direction to the State Election Commission to consider the galloping speed with which the COVID cases are increasing and also to take into account the issue if holding of elections in such a situation will be in the public interest and if free and fair elections will be possible on the dates notified, and take a decision in respect of the postponement of the date of elections of aforesaid four Municipal Corporations for a short period of 4 to 6 weeks” unquote,” read the letter.
The party further said that the High Court has also directed SEC to consider the galloping speed with which the COVID-19 cases are rising. It said that the Court has raised the issue of public interest, and the question of free and fair polls in such circumstances.
“Sir a democracy is all about its people and so are elections. No purpose will be served by exposing the voters to the risk of getting infected, to conduct elections which are already delayed by between 1.5 and 2.5 years,” it added.
It further said, “Once again Bharatiya Janata party calls upon the State Election Commission to immediately announce the postponement of the four Municipal Corporation polls due on 22 January 2022 by four to six weeks, in peoples’ interest, failing which we will hold you responsible for any adverse happening.”
Earlier on Friday, the Calcutta High Court has directed the State Election Commission to consider the postponement of four civic polls for four-six weeks due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
The court had ordered State Election Commission to clear its stand within 48 hours.
The elections of four Municipal Corporations, namely Siliguri Municipal Corporation, Chandernagore Municipal Corporation, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and Asansol Municipal Corporation were earlier slated to be held on January 22, 2022, according to an order by the State Election Commission.
However, the High Court has postponed the elections for 4-6 weeks citing that the third wave of COVID-19 has hit the state and that the life of the residents of the State will be put to threat if the elections are held. (Image source: Instagram)

EC reschedules West Bengal municipal elections to February 12 amid rising COVID-19 cases

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] (ANI): The West Bengal State Election Commission postponed the West Bengal municipality election, which were scheduled for January 22, to February 12.
The decision came after The Calcutta High Court on January 13 asked the State Election commission (SEC) to take the decision in 48 hrs whether it could be postponed by 4 to 6 weeks in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases. According to the new notification from SEC, civic polls for Darjeeling district’s Siliguri Municipal Corporation, Hooghly district’s Chandernagore Municipal Corporation, North 24 Pargana district’s Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and Paschim (West) Bardhaman’s Asansol Municipal Corporation would be conducted on February 12 from 7 am to 5 pm. (Image source: Instagram)

People take holy dip at Gangasagar on Makar Sankranti

Gangasagar (West Bengal) [India] (ANI): Amid the COVID-19 surge, a large number of people on Friday took a holy dip on the occasion of Makar Sankranti at Gangasagar in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.
The West Bengal government has set up air ambulance services to provide emergency treatment to patients and transfer them to hospitals from Gangasagar, where devotees have gathered for a holy bath on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. Meanwhile, a two-member committee has been constituted to monitor adherence to COVID-19 protocols during the Gangasagar Mela which began on January 8 this year.
Only those having negative RT-PCR report not earlier than 72 hours have been permitted to enter the mela.
Held during the winters, this Mela is an annual gathering of pilgrims that see a number of rituals, lit lamps and chanting in and around Sagardwip.
Makar Sankranti or Maghi is a festival in the Hindu calendar, in which devotees make offerings to the deity Surya. The day marks the first day of the sun’s transit into the Makara, marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days. (Image source: Instagram)

West Bengal begins administering COVID-19 vaccine ‘precautionary dose’

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] (ANI): West Bengal on Monday began administering ‘precautionary dose’ for health workers, frontline workers, senior citizens with comorbidities.
“274 days after the second dose, a person is eligible to take ‘precautionary dose’. We got a good amount of responses on the first day. Though initially, we faced some problems with the CO-WIN registration, now the problem has been sorted” said Dr Anupam Das, In-charge of Vaccination of Peerless hospital in Kolkata. “A vaccinated person can also get COVID-19 positive but the seriousness of the disease will not be much”, added Dr Das.
Meanwhile, West Bengal today recorded 19,286 new cases taking the total active cases in the state to 89,194. Kolkata itself reported the highest with 5,363 new cases. (Image source: Unsplash)

West Bengal reports 24,287 new COVID cases, 18 deaths

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] (ANI): West Bengal on Sunday logged 24,287 new COVID cases taking the total active cases in the state to 78,111, stated the Health Bulletin.
The positivity rate in the state is 33.89 per cent. Eighteen people died in West Bengal of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours taking the total death count to 19,901. Kolkata reported the most number of new cases with 31,602 followed by North 24-Parganas with 14,224 and Howrah with 6,087 cases.
However, the state has seen 8,213 recoveries in the last 24 hours. There are 75,046 people under home isolation, as per the state data whereas 2,874 COVID-19 patients are in hospital. (Image source: Instagram)

27th Kolkata International Film Festival called off as COVID-19 cases rise in WB

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: The 27th Kolkata International Film Festival, which was slated to be held between January 7-14, has been called off in the wake of the prevailing COVID-19 situation across West Bengal.
The decision of the state government comes a day after the state minister for culture Indranil Sen had announced that there would be 50 per cent occupancy at the venues in the city where KIFF would be held along with a virtual inauguration ceremony. As per an official statement from the government, the rescheduled date of the festival will be communicated in due course of time.
“After assessing the present COVID situation of the State and taking into consideration the possibility of further contamination of covid among the cine lovers and citizens and also owing to the fact that a number of cine personalities attached to film festival committee and many others have been affected by COVID, State Government, upon careful consideration to the safety of the citizens have decided to temporarily postpone the 27th Kolkata International Film Festival scheduled to be held between January 7-14, 2022. Next date of the Festival will be communicated in due course,” it read.
Notably, the state has witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases.
West Bengal on Wednesday reported 14,022 new COVID-19 cases, 17 deaths and 6,438 recoveries. The active cases in the state are at 33,042.
According to Union Health Ministry, the state has reported 20 cases of new coronavirus variant Omicron.

Flights from Mumbai, Delhi to WB will operate thrice a week from Jan 5, Govt writes to Civil Aviation Ministry

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: In light of the prevailing COVID-19 situation, the West Bengal government on Tuesday wrote to the Ministry of Civil Aviation informing it of their decision to allow domestic flights from Mumbai and Delhi only thrice a week from January 5.
A letter by West Bengal Additional Chief Secretary BP Gopalika stated that the flights between the two metro cities will operate only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. “The State Government is extremely sensitive towards the inconvenience that may be caused to the passengers but restrictions are absolutely essential for containment of COVID cases in the State,” the letter read.
“However, the incoming domestic flights from Mumbai and Delhi will be allowed thrice a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with effect from January 5, 2022, and the same will be reviewed again shortly depending upon the COVID situation in the State,” it added.
Notably, this decision of the State government comes after Delhi and Mumbai for the past week have been reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Mumbai on Tuesday reported 10,860 fresh infections of COVID-19 and 2 deaths. The active cases in the financial capital of India are at 47,476.
Delhi reported 5,481 new infections on Tuesday pushing the positivity rate to 8.37 per cent, the highest in over seven months.
Meanwhile, West Bengal recorded 9,073 new cases and 16 deaths on Tuesday while the active cases are at 25,475.

WB post-poll violence: CBI denies media reports claiming no evidence in 21 cases of sexual assault

New Delhi [India]: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday denied the media reports claiming the agency didn’t find any evidence in 21 cases of rape and attempt to rape received by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
CBI in a statement mentioned that it has been reported in a section of media on Monday and Tuesday that 21 instances of Sexual Assault forwarded by NHRC, were closed by CBI alleging that no evidence of Rape, Attempt to Rape, Molestation, Sexual Assault was found in those complaints. News has been published saying it to be based on source input and Second Status Report dated 22 December 2021 submitted by CBI in the Calcutta High Court on Post Poll Violence Cases. It may be stated that Calcutta High Court had ordered CBI on 19 August 2021 to investigate the incidents involving offences of murder, rape and attempt to rape. As such, CBI has registered the cases meeting only these criteria which are under progress.
It is clarified that CBI had received 29 complaints of sexual assault from NHRC related to sexual offences till 22 December 2021. Out of these, two cases have been decided by CBI for handing over to State SIT on the grounds of nature of offences, in line with the mandate given in the orders of the Calcutta High Court.
Further, two complaints relating to the same incident of sexual assault were received by CBI which were amalgamated, resulting in the registration of only one regular case for investigation. The remaining cases are in progress.
It may also be mentioned that State Police had referred 64 incidents to CBI in furtherance of the High Court order. Out of it, 39 offences were taken over by CBI by registering regular cases, four references are under process while 21 references were returned to State Police/SIT on the ground of nature of the offence, as CBI has been mandated in the order of the Calcutta High Court to investigate post-poll violence cases of Murder, Rape and attempt to Rape.
As such, the reports, published in a section of media alleging that CBI has found no evidence in 21 cases listed as the offence of Sexual Assault by NHRC, contain a misrepresentation of facts, are blatantly mischievous, grossly misleading and entirely false. Accordingly, the same is strongly denied.
It may be mentioned that at the time of submission of the Status Report, CBI had registered 50 Regular Cases and one Preliminary Enquiry into the incidents of Post Poll Violence. By the time of submission of the Status Report, CBI had submitted Charge Sheet in 10 cases while the remaining cases are under progress.

West Bengal: Approaching all schools to participate in COVID vaccination drive for children in 15-18 age group, says TMC leader

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: Under nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive for age group 15-18, Kolkata Mayor Frihad Hakim on Monday informed that they are approaching all schools to participate in the vaccination.
Speaking to ANI, TMC leader and Mayor Firhad Hakim said, “We are approaching all schools to participate in the vaccination of children in the 15-18 age group. We have 37 vaccination centers where Covaxin is administered in the city.” COVID-19 vaccination for the 15-18 age group began on Monday morning across the country.
CoWIN registration for the age group had already begun on Saturday. As many as 12,57,603 children in the 15-18 age group have registered so far on the CoWIN platform to get vaccinated.
PM Modi on December 25, 2021, had announced that the vaccination for the age-group 15-18 years is scheduled to begin from Monday while administration of precautionary third dose for the vulnerable categories is to commence from January 10, 2022.
In the context of the vaccination of the age group 15-18 years, the Union Health Secretary informed the States and UTs that only ‘Covaxin’ is to be administered in this population category and additional doses of ‘Covaxin’ will be sent to all states and UTs. Those with the birth year of 2007 or before will be eligible for vaccination under this category.

COVID-19: West Bengal to shut schools, spas, salons from Monday; offices to operate at 50 pc capacity

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: In view of rising COVID-19 cases, the West Bengal government on Sunday decided to shut down schools and other educational institutes, spas, salons, beauty parlours, zoos, and entertainment parks from January 3.
Briefing the media here today, West Bengal Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi said, “All schools, colleges, universities, spas, salons, beauty parlours, zoos, and entertainment parks to be closed in the state from tomorrow.” The government directed all government and private offices to operate at 50 per cent capacity.
“All government and private offices to operate at 50 per cent capacity, all administrative meetings to be conducted via virtual mode,” said Dwivedi.
The government also informed that the flights from Delhi and Mumbai to West Bengal will function only twice a week from January 5.
“West Bengal to operate flights from Delhi and Mumbai only twice a week which will be on Monday and Tuesday w.e.f Jan 5,” the Chief Secretary added.
West Bengal reported 2,590 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of active cases in the state to 13,300, as per the data provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
With 1,913 people recovering from the infection in the last 24 hours, the total number of people discharged after being cured went up to 16,09,924.
The state reported nine deaths in the last 24 hours taking the total tally of deaths from COVID-19 in West Bengal to 19,773.

West Bengal Government cancels Students’ Week programme amid rise in COVID-19 cases

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: In view of the deteriorating COVID-19 situation in West Bengal, the state government has decided to cancel the Students’ Week programme scheduled to be held between January 1 and 7 at Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata.
West Bengal reported 4,512 new COVID-19 cases taking the total active cases to 13,300, stated the state health bulletin. As per the data, Kolkata reported maximum cases with 6,442 followed by North 24 Parganas with 2,039. Nine people died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, West Bengal has logged 20 Omicron cases. As per information, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was scheduled to be present at the Students’ Week programme in Kolkata’s Netaji Indoor Stadium on Monday on January 3. The senior officials and Ministers will hold the presser regarding the Students’ Week on Sunday afternoon.

COVID-19: West Bengal suspends flights from UK to Kolkata from January 3 to prevent Omicron spread

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: In order to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the West Bengal government on Thursday announced that it has suspended all the flights coming to Kolkata airport from the United Kingdoms from January 3 onwards till further notice.
“In view of the rising number of Omicron cases globally as well within the country, the State Government has decided to temporarily and until further orders suspend all direct flights from the United Kingdom to Kolkata with effect from January 3, 2022. Flights, which is an at-risk country as notified by MOHFW, Government of India, will not be allowed in the State and any NOCs which have been issued stand withdrawn,” read the West Bengal government’s letter to the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation. “Further, with effect from January 3, 2022, all passengers coming from other non at-risk countries by international flights to West Bengal will have to mandatorily undergo a test on arrival at their cost. The airlines will randomly select 10 per cent of the passengers for the RT-PCR test and the balance 90 per cent shall undergo Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) at the arrival airport. Those found positive in the RAT test will have to further undergo RT-PCR tests as may be required by the health authorities,” the letter added.
West Bengal government said that all passengers have to mandatorily pre-book the test before boarding to reduce waiting time on arrival, which the airlines must ensure prior to allowing the boarding. Accordingly, the airport authorities may be asked to augment the holding capacity of the arrival lounge on the international side and also increase the number of testing counters so as to reduce the waiting time for the passengers at the airport.
The state government said that the airlines may be requested to evenly space out the flight arrivals in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata in consultation with the Airport Director and the state nodal officer so as to reduce waiting time.
West Bengal reported five more cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus on Tuesday taking the total number of patients infected by the new variant in the state to 11.
The state government’s decision of curbing flights from the UK came a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a review meeting on Wednesday over the COVID situation in the state.
The administrative meeting took place at Sagar in the South 24 Parganas district.
Speaking at the meeting, the Chief Minister said, “COVID cases are rising across the state. There are omicron infections. A review of the situation is required. Passengers coming from foreign countries are spreading COVID. A decision needs to be taken on the international flights coming to Kolkata.”
Meanwhile, the tally of Omicron COVID-19 variant cases in the country has gone up to 961 with maximum cases reported from Delhi (263) and Maharashtra (252).

Have not signed Howrah civic body bill, still waiting for inputs from Mamata govt, says West Bengal Governor

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Monday said that the Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill is currently pending consideration with the governor as he is awaiting inputs on the bill from the state government.
“I have not signed Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021. I want to clarify that no proposal was sent to me on separating Bally Municipality from Howrah Municipal Corporation,” said Dhankar in a video posted on Twitter on Monday. “The state government claims that I am delaying the bill, you would be surprised to know that I received the bill on November 24 and I asked for some information regarding the bill on the same day. For almost four weeks, they didn’t respond to me,” he said.
“I haven’t received a proper response from the government over my queries regarding the bill,” he added.
The Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, proposing Bally Municipality from the jurisdiction of the Howrah Municipal Corporation, was passed by the Assembly recently.
State Election Commission can hold Howrah Municipal Corporation polls with 66 wards as (it happened earlier) in 2015, said Dhankar.
Howrah civic polls are expected to be held in 2022.

West Bengal: One more arrested in Bangladeshi national infiltration case

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: One more person has been arrested in the case of infiltration by a Bangladeshi national, Kolkata police said on Monday.
According to police, the accused was arrested on the suspicion that he produced forged identification documents. He has been remanded to police custody till January 3, 2022, police said.
On December 25 midnight, Kolkata Police nabbed one Bijoy Kr Roy, 41, of Jatrapur, Nadia from his residence in connection with a case registered at the Anandapur police station (case against accused being Bangladesh national, according to a statement issued by the police.
“He is suspected of producing forged documents like voter ID card, Adhar card, etc. Police have seized a portion of documents from his custody. He was produced before court where he was remanded to police custody till January 3, 2022. An investigation is on,” the police added.

Big farmers’ protest to take place in West Bengal, says Suvendu Adhikari

Hooghly (West Bengal) [India]: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and leader of opposition in West Bengal Suvendu Adhikari on Tuesday said a big farmers’ movement will take place in the state.
Speaking to ANI, Adhikari said, “West Bengal’s condition is bad. There is black marketing of fertilizers and no subsidy on electricity. Three farmers have died by suicide within two months. Mamata Banerjee removed the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and implemented a third-party scheme. This impacted the farmers badly. A big farmers’ movement will take place in Bengal. There will be a central rally.” West Bengal BJP launched a three-day sit-in at Singur on Tuesday to corner the Mamata Banerjee government over the farmers’ issue in West Bengal.

SC refuses BJP’s plea seeking deployment of central forces for civic polls in West Bengal

New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain the petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeking deployment of Central Forces in the upcoming municipal corporation elections in West Bengal and asked the party to approach Calcutta High Court.
A Bench of Justices L Nagesara Rao and BR Gavai told senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for the BJP, that it will not entertain the plea and the party can approach the High Court. Singh then withdrew the petition with liberty to approach the High Court.
During the brief hearing, Singh told the Bench that there were widespread threats of violence and the BJP candidates were being threatened to withdraw from the contest in the municipal elections in Kolkata.
As BJP contended that the top court entertained a similar petition recently for the Tripura election, the Bench said if it starts entertaining petitions then people and political parties from across the country will start filing petitions directly in Supreme Court on panchayat and municipal elections.
On November 25, the top court had directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide two additional companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to secure the polling booths during the Tripura municipal elections after the opposition TMC and CPI (M) approached the apex court alleging that their candidates and supporters were not allowed to cast their votes.
BJP has approached the apex court seeking a direction to the West Bengal government, the state poll panel and other functionaries to prepare a comprehensive action plan and deploy sufficient central police forces to ensure free and fair municipal polls.
The petition submitted that after BJP nominated and finalized the candidates for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections, they have been receiving threats and are being pressurized to withdraw their candidature.
These threats and violence “cast grave infractions on the constitutional mandate of conducting free, fair and democratic election,” said the plea.
The BJP, in its plea filed by its state president and MP Sukanta Majumdar, said that BJP finalized its candidates after the West Bengal State Election Commission notified the elections to be held for Kolkata Municipal Corporation on Day 19.
There was a necessity to deploy Central Forces in light of post-poll violence in West Bengal in May 2021, it added.
The petition stated that representations have been filed with the authorities and the Governor seeking deployment of additional forces to ensure a fair and transparent election.

Calcutta HC quashes FIR against Mithun Chakraborty over his controversial speech during Bengal polls

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday quashed a first information report (FIR) against actor and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mithun Chakraborty over an alleged controversial speech made during the West Bengal Assembly election campaign earlier this year.
The bench, led by Justice Kaushik Chanda, also stayed further investigation into the matter. On June 16, actor-turned-politician Mithun Chakraborty was questioned by the Kolkata Police on Wednesday over the controversial speech during the Bengal election campaign.
Chakraborty, who was among the BJP’s star campaigners in the April-May election, was questioned virtually in connection with a case filed against him over the speech.
The FIR was filed by the Trinamool Congress at the Manicktala police station in Kolkata.
Chakraborty during an election campaign recited dialogues in his speech from his movies: “Marbo ekhane lash porbe shoshane (Will hit you here and the body will land at the crematorium).”
Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress won 213 seats in the West Bengal Assembly elections that concluded last month. The Bharatiya Janata Party garnered 77 seats in the 294-seat state assembly.
Violence was reported in several parts of West Bengal after the results of the Assembly elections were declared on May 2.

Cyclone Jawad: 18 NDRF teams deployed in West Bengal, sea at Digha turns rough

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: Ahead of the expected landfall of cyclonic storm Jawad at the Odisha coast near Puri around noon on Sunday, 18 NDRF teams have been deployed in West Bengal as the sea at Digha has turned rough due to cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal.
Cyclone Jawad is likely to weaken further from deep depression into depression by Sunday morning, the India Meteorological Department said. “Deep Depression remnant of Cyclonic Storm ‘Jawad’ over West Central Bay of Bengal, lay centered at 23:30 hours IST of December 4, near Lat 17.5 degree North, Long 85.0 degree East, about 200 kilometres south of Gopalpur. Likely to move North-North-East wards, weaken further into a Depression by morning of December 5, reach Odisha coast near Puri around noon of same day,”a the weather agency said.
According to the Asst Commandant of NDRF in Digha, SD Prasad, “18 NDRF teams are deployed in West Bengal. We carried out awareness programmes and are ready for evacuations if needed. It is a matter of relief that ‘Jawad’ will weaken into a deep depression when it reaches Puri beach today.”
As per Home Ministry inputs, Cyclone shelters have already been readied and evacuation of people from the low lying areas is being carried out. It is learnt that all actions have been taken to stock food grains, drinking water, and other essential supplies. Teams for maintenance and restoration of power, roads, water supply, and other essential services have also been positioned. Harvesting of standing crops is also being done to minimize damages.

IMD predicts heavy rainfall over Gangetic parts of West Bengal between Dec 4-6

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: Thunderstorms and light to moderate rainfall at most places are very likely to occur over the districts of Gangetic West Bengal from December 4 to December 6, 2021, said Indian Meteorological Department on Thursday.
On December 4, heavy to very heavy rain (7-20cm) is likely to occur at one or two places over East Midnapore districts, hence an orange alert had been issued in this regard, added IMD. While heavy rain (7-11cm) is likely to occur at one or two places over West Midnapore, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Jhargram and Howrah districts, hence a yellow alert had been issued, added the IMD.
On December 5, heavy to very heavy rain (7-20cm) is likely to occur at one or two places over East Midnapore, West Midnapore, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Jhargram, Kolkata and Howrah districts, hence an orange alert had been issued, the IMD stated.
While on December 5, heavy rain (7-11cm) was likely to occur at one or two places over Purulia, Bankura, Hooghly, Nadia, Birbhum, Murshidabad, East Bardhaman, West Bardhaman and Malda districts, hence a yellow alert had been issued.
“Yesterday’s low-pressure area concentrated into a Well Marked Low-Pressure Area over
Southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining Andaman Sea now lies over Southeast Bay of Bengal
with the associated cyclonic circulation extending up to mid-tropospheric levels,” said the weather bulletin.
“It is likely to move west northwestwards and concentrate into a Depression over southeast & adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal during the next 12 hours. Then it is likely to move northwestwards and intensify into a Cyclonic Storm over central parts of the Bay of Bengal during the subsequent 24 hours,” it added.
“It is likely to reach the west-central Bay of Bengal off north Andhra Pradesh-south Odisha coasts around 04th December morning. Thereafter it is likely to move north northeastwards. Under its influence, Thunderstorms and light to moderate rainfall at most places are very likely to occur over the districts of Gangetic West Bengal from December 4 to December 6, 2021, “it further added.

West Bengal BJP leaders to meet PM Modi demanding CAA implementation

New Delhi [India] : A delegation of West Bengal BJP leaders will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday demanding the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the state.
The delegation will also discuss several issues of West Bengal with the Prime Minister. The delegation will include West Bengal BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar, party vice president Dilip Ghosh, BJP MP Saumitra Khan and others.
Speaking to ANI, Dilip Ghosh said, “Today we are going to meet the Prime Minister. The budget that was announced for the development of West Bengal is still pending. Rs 25,000 crore was announced for the North-south corridor and the development of tea gardens. The budget should be implemented. We will raise this matter before the Prime Minister. We also want that the CAA to be implemented in West Bengal soon. Those who are our citizens should get citizenship.”
Ghosh said the West Bengal BJP delegation will also discuss the violence in the state. He said despite the commencement of CBI inquiry in post-poll violence, such incidents have not stopped in West Bengal.
BJP MP and West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said, “West Bengal BJP MPs will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi today regarding the situation in West Bengal. We will discuss the development of the state and on the matter of implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rules.”
BJP MP Saumitra Khan said, “We will make the demand that CAA should be implemented soon. We will also apprise the Prime Minister about the issues of West Bengal.”
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) allows persecuted minorities belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi, and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to avail of Indian citizenship.
The Opposition parties and several groups have protested against the implementation of CAA. There was widespread protest across the country leading to the deaths of many people in violence after the CAA was passed by Parliament.

West Bengal extends Covid-19 restrictions in wake of Omicron scare

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: West Bengal government on Tuesday extended the COVID-19 restrictions in the state till December 15 in view of the newly detected coronavirus variant Omicron.
According to an order issued by the government, all outdoor activities including the movement of people and vehicles will remain prohibited between 11 pm and 5 am except for the health services, law and order and essential commodities that include agricultural products and other emergency services. “Wearing of masks, maintenance of physical distancing and health and hygiene protocol must be followed at all times,” said the order.
Meanwhile, amid rising concern about a new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’ first detected in South Africa, India added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing for infection.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare adds Hong Kong and Israel to the list of countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing considering the detection of new COVID variant ‘Omicron’ in South Africa.

TMC raises 10 issues including women’s reservation bill in all-party meet

New Delhi [India] : In an all-party meet convened ahead of the winter session of Parliament, the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) raised ten issues including the Women’s reservation bill to be brought in this session of parliament.
Sources told ANI that the TMC leader demanded from centre to “bring women’s reservation bill in this winter session of Parliament and not bulldoze bills without screening by the opposition.” “Issues like Unemployment, Price Rise of Essentials/Fuel Prices, the law on MSP, weakening of the federal structure and stop disinvestment of profitable PSUs were raised by TMC in the meet,” said the source.
“TMC Leader also raised the issue of BSF jurisdiction that is increased in West Bengal, Pegasus Issue, disrupted Monsoon session and Covid-19 situation in Country” source added.
TMC’S floor leaders of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O’Brien respectively were present at the meet.
At the all-party meeting was called by the Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi on Sunday ahead of the winter session of Parliament, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister Piyush Goyal and Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury were among the leaders who attended.
The BJP-led government has a heavy agenda for the winter session with its legislative business including 26 new bills.
The winter session will commence on November 29 and is scheduled to conclude on December 23.

SC expects West Bengal Speaker to decide on disqualification plea against Mukul Roy

New Delhi [India] : The Supreme Court on Monday said it expects the West Bengal Legislative Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee would take a call on the disqualification petition moved against Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Mukul Roy and posted the matter for hearing before it in the third week of January 2022.
A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hima Kohli also observed that there is a general practice of Speakers delaying the hearing of defection petitions under the Tenth Schedule of the constitution. “There are so many cases where there is a delay by the Speaker… We are told you stay away, let the Speaker decide,” Justice Rao observed.
The apex court was hearing two separate appeals by the Assembly Speaker and the Secretary and the Returning Officer of West Bengal Assembly, against the Calcutta High Court order.
The High Court had directed the Speaker to decide by October 7 the petition seeking Roy’s disqualification for his defection from BJP to TMC. The order of High Court had come on plea moved by BJP MLA Ambika Roy challenging the appointment of TMC MLA Mukul Roy as the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly.
On June 17, a disqualification petition had also been moved before the Speaker by BJP MLA and Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari against Mukul Roy on the grounds of defection.
During the hearing before the top court, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for the Speaker told the Bench that the Speaker had fixed December 21 as the next date of hearing of the disqualification petition filed by Adhikari against Mukul Roy.
Taking into note that the petition for disqualification is now listed before the Speaker on December 21, the Bench said, “We hope the Speaker proceeds with the hearing of the matter and decides the matter in accordance with the law.”
In its September 28 order, the Calcutta High Court had observed that it is a constitutional convention to appoint the Leader of the Opposition as the Chairman of the PAC and ruled that the issue pertaining to disqualification of Roy as Member of the Legislative Assembly is co-related with him being the Chairman of the PAC.
Speaker of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly had then moved the Supreme Court challenging the direction to decide on the disqualification petition against Roy.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar meets Amit Shah

New Delhi [India] : West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his residence in the national capital.
Apprising of his meeting with Shah, Dhankar tweeted, “West Bengal Governor Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar called on Union Home Minister Shri @AmitShah at his residence today.” This comes a day after President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday attended the Conference of Governors and Lieutenant Governors at Rashtrapati Bhawan in the national capital.
Dhankar was also present at the conference.

Ranagram bridge: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury writes to WB CM threatening to launch protest for delaying construction

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: Concerned over the deteriorating condition of the Ranagram bridge over the Dwarka river on Kandi-Berhampur under the Kandi sub-division, Congress Lok Sabha MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday wrote a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee threatening to launch a protest march against the state government over the delay in the construction of the bridge.
The letter further stated that the local population has been protesting against the government for delaying the construction of this bridge as it is going on for the past two years. He further alleged that a delay in the bridge’s construction and not permitting people to protest shows suppression of the democratic rights of the people by the Kandi administration.
In the letter, Chowdhury informed that the Ranagram bridge over the Dwarka river on Kandi-Berhampur under the Kandi sub-division has been declared dangerous and it may collapse.
“Only light vehicles are allowed to ply on the bridge. This is a very important bridge that connects many districts as well as the capital Kolkata. People are facing serious inconveniences in view of the closure of this bridge,” the letter read.
In view of this delay, the local Congress Committee requested the Sub-Divisional Officer of Kandi for permission to organise a march on foot with full adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
“The SDO granted permission for the protest for November 15, however, it later withdrew the permission citing High Court order,” the letter said.
Chowdhury said in a letter, “It is pertinent to note that the High Court order is related to festivals and the protest march does not fall under the order. The administration is clearly crushing the democratic rights of the citizens to protest by withdrawing the permission.”
“The act is also impinging upon the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed to the citizens as per Constitution of India,” it added.
He further appealed to the Chief Minister to direct the Kandi administration to allow the protest march so that people could exercise their democratic rights.

BJP stands like a rock with people of West Bengal

New Delhi [India] : Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said that Bharatiya Janata Party will stand like a rock in support of the people of West Bengal, following the election results in the state.
Addressing media to brief about the ongoing national executive meeting of BJP, Pradhan said, “The BJP is standing like a rock in support with the people of Bengal. Nadda Ji today said that whenever elections will be held in Bengal in the coming times, BJP will fight to save Bengal in a democratic way, to restore ideal democracy in Bengal and will restore the faith of people in the Constitution.” Earlier today, BJP national president JP Nadda said the party will chart a new story in the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda are attending the party’s national executive meeting. The discussion is expected to be on the election strategy in seven states that will vote next year.

‘BJP doing cheap politics’

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] : Amid opposition-ruled states constantly drawing criticism from BJP leaders for not reducing excise on fuel prices, Trinamool Congress (TMC) general secretary Kunal Ghosh on Saturday accused the BJP of indulging in “cheap politics” and said that the Centre should reduce base prices and restructure taxation.
“Centre takes more tax-share than the state can afford to compensate the deficit of BJP-ruled states,” Ghosh alleged while speaking to ANI here today. “BJP is doing cheap politics. They should reduce base prices and restructure taxation,” he said while adding that the non-BJP states don’t even get their original dues.
Ghosh’s remarks came after the Government of India, on the eve of Diwali, had announced reduction of central excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively.
As per the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, following the reduction, 23 states/UTs also undertook a commensurate reduction of VAT on Petrol and Diesel to give relief to consumers.
However, there are 13 States/UTs which have not undertaken any reduction in VAT in Petrol and Diesel.
These are Maharashtra, NCT of Delhi, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Punjab and Rajasthan.
As per the ministry, the most reduction in the Petrol prices has been in UT of Ladakh, followed by Karnataka and Puducherry. The prices of petrol in these UTs/states have come down by Rs 13.43, Rs 13.35 and Rs12.85, respectively, it stated.
According to the ministry, for Diesel, the most reduction has been undertaken by UT of Ladakh, leading to price coming down by Rs 19.61 per litre there, followed by Karnataka and Puducherry.

West Bengal govt intimidating BJP leaders to join TMC

Indore (Madhya Pradesh) [India] : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Tuesday accused the TMC-led West Bengal government of intimidating its leaders to make them join the TMC.
Vijayvargiya said, “Many cases are being filed against BJP leaders in West Bengal. There are almost 120 fake cases on BJP MP Arjun Singh, there are 20 cases against me too. Now how can anyone survive when the government starts killing the opposition like this? “Those who are joining TMC in Bengal are forced to join,” he added.
Vijayvargiya, who was also in charge of BJP during 2021 assembly polls in West Bengal said that the question of winning and losing arises where elections are held in a free and fair manner, not in a place where “police, goons and political parties work in nexus for booth capturing.”
“Victory and loose comes in when elections are held in a free manner not where booths are captured. Police, goons and political parties work in nexus there therefore there are no elections. They (TMC) snatch seats by capturing polling booths,” Vijayvargiya said while replying on TMC’s lead in West Bengal by-polls.
BJP leader also said that the results of by-polls show people’s confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“If we look at the election results of the whole country, then the opposition which made farmers’ movement an issue has failed. NDA is leading everywhere, be it Madhya Pradesh, Bihar or Assam, this shows that farmers have given their support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Vijayvargiya.
Reacting on Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s campaign in Uttar Pradesh, BJP leader said, “Congress is completely finished over there. Surely Priyanka Gandhi is working very hard but it is too early to say whether this will be converted into votes or not. The country has rejected the Congress.”

Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress wins all four seats in Bengal bypolls

New Delhi [India]: The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) has won by-polls in all four assembly seats in West Bengal.
Trinamool Congress candidates won Dinhata, Santipur, Khardaha and Gosaba assembly with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trailing on the second position on all four seats. TMC’s Udayan Guha won by the margin of 1,64,089 votes over BJP’s Ashok Mandal in Dinhata constituency.
In Santipur seat, TMC’s Braja Kishor Goswami won by a margin of 64,675 votes over BJP’s Niranjan Biswas.
TMC’s Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay emerged victorious on the Kharadaha seat with a margin of 93,832 votes over BJP candidate Joy Saha.
TMC’s Subrata Mondal won the Gosaba assembly seat by a margin of 1,43,051 seats over BJP’s Palash Rana.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee congratulated the party candidates and said it was victory of people.
She said the results show that people of Bengal will always choose development and unity “over propaganda and hate politics”.
“My heartiest congratulations to all the four winning candidates! This victory is people’s victory, as it shows how Bengal will always choose development and unity over propaganda and hate politics. With people’s blessings, we promise to continue taking Bengal to greater heights!”
The Santipur and Dinhata seats fell vacant after BJP MPs Jagannath Sarkar and Nishith Pramanik resigned from the assembly respectively. The other two seats fell vacant as Trinamool Congress MLAs Kajal Sinha (Khardaha) and Jayanta Naskar (Gosaba) died due to COVID-19.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC ahd registered a landslide victory in the assembly polls, winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. The BJP had emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats.

WB: Cracker ban order set aside

New Delhi [India] : The Supreme Court has set aside the Calcutta High Court order putting a blanket ban on the sale, purchase and use of all kinds of firecrackers in the state during Kali Puja, Diwali celebrations and some other festivities this year to check air pollution amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A special Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi remarked that the top court has already passed an order regulating the use of firecrackers which use polluting materials. It said, “There cannot be a complete ban on firecrackers. Strengthen mechanism to supervise and implement (Supreme Court’s earlier order).”
The Bench said its order will be applicable to all states uniformly and West Bengal cannot be an exception.
The apex court termed the High Court order as an “extreme order”, said it has taken a consistent view on the matter and restated its October 29, 2021 order which reiterated its October 2018 order that there is no total ban.
In the order, the Bench stated, “The State submits that officials are taking necessary steps to ensure that directions issued by this Court (Supreme Court) are complied with in letter and spirit. We set aside the impugned order and permit any person interested to approach High Court by placing all relevant materials.”
The top court was hearing an appeal against the Calcutta High Court’s October 29 order banning the sale, purchase and use of all firecrackers in the state this year.
The appeal filed by the chairman of a West Bengal-based firecracker association and another such group stated that the High Court order was “patently erroneous” in holding a complete ban on firecrackers within West Bengal when the apex court has allowed the use of green firecrackers in permissible limit across all states.
The petitioners have said that they represent the interest of about seven lakh families who are involved in the process of manufacture and sale of fireworks and are involved in the fireworks industry in one manner or another.
They said if a blanket ban is imposed in this season on the sale and use of firecrackers in West Bengal, the sellers and manufacturers will have to suffer irreparable losses which may “lead to a complete shutdown of the firecracker industry altogether”.
The High Court in its order had said that the expression “firecrackers” will cover all types of sparklers as well as other similar materials, whether or not their bursting or burning involves any sound or light generation.
The order had stated, “The state should ensure that there is no use or display or bursting of firecrackers of any type at all during Kali Puja, Diwali celebrations as well as Chhath Puja, Jagadhatri Puja, Guru Nanak’s Birthday and Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations this year.” It said that only wax or oil-based diyas may be used for the occasions.
On October 29, the top court had said celebration cannot be at the cost of others’ health and clarified that while there is no total ban on the use of firecrackers, fireworks that contain Barium salts are prohibited.
It had warned that top officials at various levels shall be held personally liable for any lapses. The top court had said it is unfortunate that despite various directions issued by it there is a blatant violation going on.

Local train services resume in WB

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] : Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the local train services across West Bengal resumed with 50 per cent seating capacity on Sunday.
Meanwhile, West Bengal reported 990 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths in the last 24 hours. Earlier this week, the Central government asked the West Bengal government to take note of the rising cases of COVID-19 in Kolkata and take measures to contain the spread of the virus following Durga Puja celebrations.

59.68 pc voter turnout in WB

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: West Bengal recorded a voter turnout of 59.68 per cent till 4.30 pm in the four Assembly constituencies during the by-elections on Saturday.
According to the election commission, the Dinhata assembly seat recorded 61.52 per cent voter turnout while 66.07 per cent turnout is recorded from the Gosaba seat. Kharadaha seat witnessed a voter turnout of 52.37 per cent whereas the Santipur seat reported a 64.18 per cent turnout. The voting began at around 7 am and will continue till 6:30 pm on Saturday.
Santipur and Dinhata seats fell vacant after BJP MP Jagannath Sarkar and Nishith Pramanik resigned from the assembly, respectively. Whereas, elections on the other two seats are being held as All India Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) MLAs Kajal Sinha (Khardaha) and Jayanta Naskar (Gosaba) died due to COVID-19.
There is a tough fight between the BJP and the TMC for retaining the seats they had and capturing the other two.
TMC leader Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, who had resigned from the Bhabanipur constituency to facilitate Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s election to the Assembly, is fighting from Khardaha.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC registered a landslide victory in polls held earlier this year, winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. The BJP emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats.
Other than West Bengal, voting is underway in three parliamentary seats and 26 other assembly constituencies in various states across the country today.
The results of these polls will be announced on November 2.

By-polls in Many states

Karnataka by-polls: 38.13 pc voter turnout recorded till 1 pm

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] : Karnataka recorded a voter turnout of 38.13 per cent till 1 pm in the ongoing by-polls in Hangal and Sindgi assembly constituencies on Saturday.


Voting for by-polls in these two constituencies started today at 7 am and will continue till 7.30 pm. As per the Election Commission of India (ECI) Hangal and Sindgi assembly constituencies reported voter turnout of 44.59 per cent and 32.49 per cent respectively till 1 pm.
The counting of votes and announcement of results will take place on November 2.

Telangana by-poll: 45.63 pc voter turnout till 1 PM in Huzurabad

Hyderabad (Telangana : Huzurabad assembly constituency in Telangana reported a total voter turnout of 45.63 per cent for the by-poll by 1 pm on Saturday.
Voting began at 7 am and will continue till 6:30 pm today. The result of the by-poll will be announced on November 2.
Huzurabad seat fell vacant after former health minister Eatala Rajender resigned from ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and joined the BJP.
On June 12, Rajender had submitted his resignation as Huzurabad MLA after he was sacked from the state Council of Ministers following allegations of land encroachments.
The seat has become a battle of prestige for the ruling TRS and the Opposition alike.

Bihar by-polls: 21.79 pc voter turnout recorded till 11 am

Patna (Bihar) [India] : Bihar recorded a voter turnout of 21.79 per cent till 11 am in the two Assembly constituencies during the by-elections on Saturday.
According to the election commission, the Kusheshwar Asthan assembly seat in Darbhanga recorded 20.25 per cent voter turnout while the Tarapur Assembly seat in Munger recorded 23 per cent voter turnout. The by-polls in the two assembly seats have become a battle of prestige for the ruling Janata Dal (United) and the main opposition party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav himself campaigned at the Assembly constituencies after he returned to Bihar.


Earlier on Friday, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav had accused that the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in the state of pressurising officials to make people vote in the favour of a specific party.
Tejashwi also alleged that there is a lack of development in the state and said that had there been development, the government would have never needed to distribute gifts to people.
In 2020, the ruling coalition, NDA secured a majority with 125-seats in the 243-seat strong Bihar Legislative Assembly of which BJP won 74 seats, Janata Dal (United) on 43 while eight seats were won by two other NDA constituents.
The RJD, on the other hand, emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats while Congress won only 19 of the 70 seats it had contested.
Meanwhile, by-elections are being held in three parliamentary constituencies and 30 assembly constituencies in different states today.
The counting of votes and announcement of results will be on November 2.

Mizoram by-polls: Tuirial records 28 pc voter turnout till 11 am

Aizawl (Mizoram) : Mizoram’s Tuirial assembly constituency recorded a voter turnout of 28 per cent till 11 am during the by-elections on Saturday.
The by-poll to the seat in the Tuirial assembly constituency of the Kolasib district was necessitated due to the death of sitting MLA Andrew H Thangliana of Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM). Voting began at 7 am across 27 polling stations in Tuirial and will continue till 6 pm.


Meanwhile, by-elections are being held in three parliamentary constituencies and 30 assembly constituencies in different states across the country today.
The counting of votes and announcement of results will be on November 2.

Himachal Pradesh by-polls: CM, his family cast vote in Mandi

ANI | Updated: Oct 30, 2021 12:37 IST

Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) [India], October 30 (ANI): Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and his family cast their votes for the ongoing by-poll in the Mandi Parliamentary constituency on Saturday.
The chief minister and his family cast their votes at polling booth number 36 in Murhag in Mandi Parliamentary constituency. The Mandi constituency recorded a 17.74 per cent voter turnout till 11 am.
The voter turnout for the other three assembly constituencies witnessing by-polls is 23.20 per cent.
Arki recorded 23 per cent, Fatehpur recorded 21.90 per cent and Jubbal-Kotkhai recorded 25.02 per cent voter turnout till 11 am.
The necessity to conduct a by-election for the Mandi Lok Sabha constituency and three assembly constituencies arose due to the deaths of sitting MP and MLAs on the respective seats.
As per the official release, there are six candidates from Mandi parliamentary constituency including Brigadier Kushal Chand Thakur of BJP, Pratibha Singh of Indian National Congress, Ambika Shyam of Rashtriya Lokniti Party, Munshi Ram Thakur of Himachal Jankranti Party and independent candidates Anil Kumar and Subhash Mohan Snehi.


BJP’s Ratna Singh Pal, Congress Party’s Sanjay and Independent Jeet Ram are candidates from Arki assembly constituency.
From the Fatehpur assembly constituency, a total of five candidates, Baldev Thakur of BJP, Bhawani Singh Pathania of Indian National Congress, Pankaj Kumar Darshi of Himachal Jankranti Party and independent candidates Dr Ashok Kumar Somal and Dr Rajan Sushant are in the fray.
The four candidates from the Jubbal-Kotkhai assembly constituency are BJP’s Neelam Saraik, Indian National Congress’s Rohit Thakur, independent candidates Chetan Singh Bragta and Suman Kadam.
Other than Himachal Pradesh, voting is underway in two more parliamentary seats and 27 other assembly constituencies in various states across the country today.
The results of these polls will be announced on November 2.
Out of 68 assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh, 43 are with the BJP whereas Congress has a hold of 19 seats. One seat is with CPI (M) and two seats have independent candidates as their representatives.
“The Commission has reviewed the situations related to the pandemic, flood, festivals, cold conditions in certain regions, feedback from concerned States/UT and taken into consideration all facts and circumstances and it has decided to hold bye-elections to fill vacancies in three Parliamentary Constituencies of UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu; Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh and 30 vacancies in Assembly Constituencies of various States,” read the Election Commission of India’s press note released on September 28.

West Bengal by-polls: 45.37 pc voter turnout recorded till 1 pm

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] : West Bengal recorded a voter turnout of 45.37 per cent till 1 pm in the ongoing by-elections to the four Assembly constituencies in the state on Saturday.
According to the election commission, the Dinhata assembly seat recorded 47.83 per cent voter turnout while 52.19 per cent turnout was recorded in the Gosaba seat. Khardaha seat witnessed a voter turnout of 39.30 per cent whereas the Santipur seat recorded a 48.02 per cent turnout.
The voting began at around 7 am and will continue till 6:30 pm on Saturday.
Santipur and Dinhata seats fell vacant after BJP MP Jagannath Sarkar and Nishith Pramanik resigned from the assembly, respectively.
Whereas, elections on the other two seats are being held as All India Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) MLAs Kajal Sinha (Khardah) and Jayanta Naskar (Gosaba) died due to COVID-19.
There is a tough fight between the BJP and the TMC for retaining the seats they had and capturing the other two.
TMC leader Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, who had resigned from the Bhabanipur constituency to facilitate Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s election to the Assembly, is fighting from Khardah.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC registered a landslide victory in polls held earlier this year, winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. The BJP emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats.
Other than West Bengal, voting is underway in three parliamentary seats and 26 other assembly constituencies in various states across the country today.
The results of these polls will be announced on November 2.
“The Commission has reviewed the situations related to the pandemic, flood, festivals, cold conditions in certain regions, feedback from concerned States/UT and taken into consideration all facts and circumstances and it has decided to hold bye-elections to fill vacancies in three Parliamentary Constituencies of UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu; Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh and 30 vacancies in Assembly Constituencies of various States,” read the Election Commission of India’s press note released on September 28.

Bengal by-polls: Obstructed by TMC workers while going to cast vote, alleges BJP candidate from Dinhata

Cooch Behar (West Bengal) [India] : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Dinhata Assembly seat in Cooch Behar, Asoke Mandal, on Saturday alleged that Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers tried to stop him while he was going to cast his vote at booth number 291 at Dinhata High School.
Meanwhile, West Bengal recorded a voter turnout of 28.38 per cent till 11 am in the four Assembly constituencies during the by-elections on Saturday. According to the election commission, the Dinhata assembly seat recorded 28.73 per cent voter turnout while 33.87 per cent turnout was recorded on the Gosaba seat.


Khardaha seat witnessed a voter turnout of 23.60 per cent whereas the Santipur seat reported a 32.31per cent turnout.
The voting began at around 7 am and will continue till 6:30 pm on Saturday.
Santipur and Dinhata seats fell vacant after BJP MP Jagannath Sarkar and Nishith Pramanik resigned from the assembly, respectively.
Whereas, elections on the other two seats are being held as All India Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) MLAs Kajal Sinha (Khardah) and Jayanta Naskar (Gosaba) died due to COVID-19.
There is a tough fight between the BJP and the TMC for retaining the seats they had and capturing the other two.
TMC leader Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, who had resigned from the Bhabanipur constituency to facilitate Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s election to the Assembly, is fighting from Khardah.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC registered a landslide victory in polls held earlier this year, winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. The BJP emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats.
Other than West Bengal, voting is underway in three parliamentary seats and 26 other assembly constituencies in various states across the country today.
The results of these polls will be announced on November 2.
“The Commission has reviewed the situations related to the pandemic, flood, festivals, cold conditions in certain regions, feedback from concerned States/UT and taken into consideration all facts and circumstances and it has decided to hold bye-elections to fill vacancies in three Parliamentary Constituencies of UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu; Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh and 30 vacancies in Assembly Constituencies of various States,” read the Election Commission of India’s press note released on September 28.

Like Punjab, Bengal also protesting against Centre’s move to increase BSF jurisdiction in border states, says Mamata Banerjee

Siliguri (West Bengal) [India]: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that like Punjab, they are also protesting against the Centre’s decision to increase search and arrest jurisdiction of BSF in border states.
She said law and order is a state subject and West Bengal’s borders with Bangladesh were completely peaceful. The Chief Minister also said her government will go by the “state laws”.
“Just like Punjab, we’re also protesting against BSF’s jurisdiction that has been recently increased. Our border areas are completely peaceful. Law and order is a police subject. It’ll create disturbance. State govt will go with state laws,” she said.
Mamata Banerjee made the remarks after holding meetings with the Jalpaiguri and Alirajpur district administration officers in Siliguri.
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi held an all-party meeting on Monday to discuss the Centre’s move to increase jurisdiction of BSF.
The Centre had earlier this month empowered the Border Security Force (BSF) to conduct searches, arrest suspects and make seizures up to an area of 50 km inside Indian territory from the International Border (IB) along India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders.
The BSF, which was only empowered to take action up to fifteen kilometers in the states of Punjab, West Bengal, and Assam, has now been authorised to extend its jurisdiction up to 50 km without any hurdle or permission either from central or state governments.
However, its jurisdiction has been cut short by 20 km in the five northeastern states– Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, and Meghalaya– where it had jurisdiction up to 80 km. Similarly in Gujarat, the BSF’s jurisdiction has been curtailed from 80 to 50 km. In Rajasthan, the BSF’s area of jurisdiction will remain the same at 50 km.

WB’s suit against CBI

The Supreme Court on Friday deferred to November 16 the hearing of a West Bengal government’s suit alleging that the Central Bureau of Investigation is pressing ahead with an investigation into the post-poll violence cases in the state without securing its nod as per the law.

New Delhi [India]: A Bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice BR Gavai said parties may file a rejoinder and additional document in the case. The West Bengal government in its suit while referring to provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946, said that the Central Bureau of Investigation has been proceeding with the investigation and filing FIRs without getting consent from the state government as mandated under the statute.
The state government has sought a stay of investigation in FIR by CBI in cases of post-poll violence in West Bengal in pursuance of the Calcutta High Court order.
It said that as the general consent given to the central agency by the Trinamool Congress government has been withdrawn, the FIRs lodged cannot be proceeded with.

Explosive-laden truck caught in West Bengal

Birbhum (West Bengal) [India] : Rampurhat, Birbhum district police caught a truck full of explosives carrying 5500 gelatin sticks and 2500 detonators on Wednesday, informed the Rampurhat police.
According to the police, the truck was travelling through state highway and passing nearby Madhyam Khand village which is near Rampurhat police station when it was caught.
District Police Nagendra Nath Tripathi said the Rampurhat police had information regarding the matter before in which police were on the investigation.
The purpose of the moving truck loaded with explosives is yet to be ascertained.
Further investigation is underway.

4 cr workers on E-Shram portal

More than four crore workers have registered themselves with the government’s newly launched e-shram portal, with maximum registrations coming from states like Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, informed the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

New Delhi [India] : As per an official release, Minister for Labour and Employment, Bhupender Yadav said that by registering, the unorganized workers will be able to get the benefits of government schemes easily.
Workers in diverse occupations such as construction, apparel manufacturing, fishing, gig and platform work, street vending, domestic work, agriculture and allied, transport sector have registered at the portal.
In some of these sectors, an overwhelming proportion of migrant workers are also engaged. All unorganized workers including migrant workers can now take the benefits of various social security and employment-based schemes through registration at the e-Shram portal.
As per live data, 4.09 crore workers have registered on the portal. Of these around 50.02 per cent of beneficiaries are female and 49.98 per cent are male.
As per the latest data, the states of Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh are at the forefront of this initiative with the highest number of registrations, as depicted by the graph below. However, putting this number into perspective must be with caution. Smaller states and union territories (UTs) understandably have a lesser number of registered workforce. Also, this drive needs to gain momentum in states and UTs such as Meghalaya, Manipur, Manipur, Goa and Chandigarh.

The largest number of workers registered is from agriculture and construction, given the sheer volume of these two sectors in employment generation in India. Besides, workers from diverse and different occupations like domestic and household workers, apparel sector workers, automobile and transport sector workers, electronics and hardware workers, capital goods workers, education, healthcare, retail, tourism and hospitality, food industry and many more have registered at this portal.
Around 65.68 per cent of these registered workers are in the age group of 16-40 years and 34.32% are in the age group of 40 years and above. The social compositions of these workers include Other Backward Castes (OBC) and General Castes with almost 43 per cent and 27 per cent respectively from these categories and 23 per cent and 7 per cent being from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

It is encouraging that an equivalent proportion of men and women have been part of this drive. There have been weekly improvements in the registrations by gender, with men and women workers registering at comparable proportions, as indicated by the graph below.
This registration would facilitate delivery and accessibility to crucial welfare programmes and various entitlements meant for the workers in the unorganized sector and employment, stated the release.

Flight movements affected due to lighting system at Durga Puja pandal in West Bengal’s South Dumdum

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], October 12 : Flight movements have been affected due to the lighting system at Sreebhumi Durga Puja Pandal in West Bengal’s South Dumdum, informed airport sources on Tuesday.
According to sources, pilots from three different flights lodged complaints with Kolkata ATC in this regard on Monday. ATC has already informed Kolkata Airport Authority, they added.
Further details on the matter are awaited.

CBI arrests 11 from Bengal

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested 11 people from East Medinipur in connection with incidents of violence following the West Bengal assembly elections earlier this year.
Earlier in August this year, the Calcutta High Court ordered a court-monitored CBI probe into incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal. The High Court also ordered to set up Special Investigation Teams (SIT) for investigation of relatively less serious crimes. A seven-member committee set up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had earlier looked into the incidents of violence following the assembly elections in the state and recommended a court-monitored CBI probe.
Several incidents of violence were reported at various places after the announcement of the Assembly poll results on May 2, after which a four-member team deputed by the Ministry of Home Affairs also visited the violence-affected areas.

Didi asked me to return home: Sabyasachi Dutta

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India : After changing the wagon from BJP to TMC, Sabyasachi Dutta on Thursday said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked him to rejoin her party.
“I had some disputes with one or two persons in the party (BJP) that is why I left it. Today, Didi (West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) called me and asked me to come back home (TMC),” Dutta told mediapersons. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sabyasachi Dutta on Wednesday joined Trinamool Congress (TMC).
He was inducted into the party in the presence of State Ministers Firhad Hakim and Partha Chatterjee in Kolkata.
Earlier in September, former union minister and ex-BJP MP Babul Supriyo joined TMC.
Former BJP MLAs Soumen Roy and Tanmoy Ghosh had joined TMC.
West Bengal has been witnessing a reverse trend of leaders rejoining TMC from BJP after the assembly elections results. Earlier, BJP heavyweight Mukul Roy and his son Subhranshu Roy had joined TMC.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC registered a landslide victory in polls winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. Despite aggressive campaigning, the BJP lost the polls but emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats. Further, in the bypolls, TMC registered victory in all three constituencies.

People can participate in Pushpanjali, Sindoor Khela

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday allowed people to participate in Pushpanjali and Sindoor Khela amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Kolkata (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 7 : The High Court restricted 45 to 60 people for larger pandals and 10 to 15 for the smallest pandals and said that they should be fully vaccinated. On Vijay Dashmi, the last day of Durga Puja, married Bengali Hindu women apply sindoor on the forehead and feet of the goddess and offer sweets to her followed by applying sindoor on each other’s faces.
The fervor and festivity surrounding Durga Pooja and Navratri started with Mahalaya on Wednesday. Idols of Goddess Durga are transported to various pandals from today, with the onset of the last round of preparation for the grand festival.

WB : Mamata, two others take oath as MLAs

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], October 7 : West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar administered the oath of office to three newly-elected MLAs, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, at the state Assembly on Thursday.
Besides Banerjee, Amirul Islam and Jakir Hossain also took oath as MLAs.
In the recently concluded by-polls, Mamata Banerjee won from Bhabanipur with a margin of over 58,000 votes.

According to the Election Commission of India, Banerjee got 85,263 votes which are around 71.90 per cent of the total votes in the by-elections.
BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal got 26,428 votes and Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate Srijib Biswas secured 4,226 votes.
Jakir Hossain was elected from Jangipur and Amirul Islam was elected from Samserganj assembly seats in West Bengal.

RSS chief to visit West Bengal

New Delhi [India]: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat will visit West Bengal for two days beginning November 16.
This will be Bhagwat’s first ‘pravas’ to the state after the assembly elections and during this time will review ongoing projects initiated by the RSS in West Bengal. According to sources, Bhagwat will hold various in-house organizational meetings and will also interact with Pracharaks of the state.
The Sangh chief has concluded a four-day visit to Jammu on October 3. This was also his maiden visit to the Union Territory after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A.

Mamata to take oath

However WB Governor says will wait for gazette notification on bypoll results before announcing oath-ceremony date

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will take oath as an MLA on October 7 and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has written to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar inviting him to administer the oath of office to the party supremo at the State Assembly instead, informed Partha Chatterjee, General Secretary of Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday. Speaking to ANI, Chatterjee said, “We suggested and requested the Governor to come down to Assembly and administer the oath of office on October 7.”
However, Dhankhar said he will wait till the official gazette notification on the Bhabanipur by-poll result is issued.
“Raj Bhawan response on the administration of Oath/Affirmation to the Members elected to the WBLA in bye-election from 159-Bhabanipur A/C, and the adjourned poll in 56-Samserganj and 58-Jangipur A/Cs held on 30 September 2021. Once Gazetted Governor would take call,” tweeted the official Twitter handle of the West Bengal Governor.
Earlier on October 3, following TMC’s poll victory in Bhabanipur, Jangipur and Shamsherganj, a request was made to the Governor by the state that the Bengal assembly speaker be given the responsibility to administer the oath to the newly-elected MLAs on October 4.
Responding to a question on the Governor’s decision to conduct the oath-taking ceremony in the Governor house, Chatterjee said, “It is our desire and request to the governor that the oath-taking be conducted in the Assembly.”
Answering a query on TMC and other opposition leaders not being allowed in the Lakhimpur Kheri district in Uttar Pradesh following violence that broke out after a car hit protesting farmers, Chatterjee said, “This is their (BJP) culture. They are scared of TMC and Mamata Banerjee.”
Bhabanipur gave its verdict for Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee as she won the assembly constituency by-polls with a margin of over 58,000 votes.
According to the Election Commission of India, Mamata Banerjee secured 85,263 votes which are around 71.90 per cent of the total votes connected in the by-elections.
Banerjee’s main competition, BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal got 26,428 votes and CPI (M) candidate Srijib Biswas secured 4,226 votes.

Central govt hatched conspiracies to remove TMC from power in Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday alleged that the central government hatched conspiracies to remove TMC from power since the start of the elections.
Banerjee’s remarks came a short while before the election commission announced her massive victory in the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency. “Since the elections started in West Bengal, central government hatched conspiracies to remove us (from power). I was hurt in my feet so that I don’t contest the polls. I am grateful to the public for voting for us and to the Election Commission of India for conducting polls within six months,” said the TMC supremo while greeting her supporters outside her residence in Kolkata.
Banerjee also said that nearly 46 per cent of non-Bengalis in Bhabanipur voted for her. “Around 46 per cent of people here (in Bhabanipur) are non-Bengalis. They all have voted for me. People of West Bengal are watching Bhabanipur, which has inspired me,” she said.
She further claimed that she had won the election by a margin of 58,832 votes and registered the victory in every ward of the constituency.
In the Bhabanipur Assembly bypoll, Banerjee marked a resounding victory as she recorded a margin of over 58,000 votes against her nearest rival Priyanka Tibrewal of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The victory reinstated Banerjee as a member of the state Legislative Assembly allowing her to continue as West Bengal chief minister.
As per the Election Commission of India, the chief minister secured 85,263 votes in the by-polls easily surpassing BJP’s Tibrewal got 26,428 votes.
Notably, the TMC chief had lost to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari in the Nandigram constituency in the assembly elections held earlier this year. Following this, the Bhabanipur assembly seat was vacated by the West Bengal Agriculture Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May, paving the way for Banerjee to contest the bypoll and retain her chief ministerial post.

Bhabanipur : Big win for Mamata Banerjee, beats BJP’s Priyanka by more than 5,8000 votes

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Sunday secured a comfortable win in Bhabanipur, beating BJP rival Priyanka Tibrewal by more than 58,000 votes.

Kolkata, West Bengal, India, October 3 : According to the Election Commission of India, Mamata Banerjee bagged 84,709 votes while Priyanka Tibrewal pocketed 26,320. CPIM leader Srijib Biswas got 4,201 votes. The election was necessitated after state minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, who won the assembly election from Bhabanipur in south Kolkata in May, resigned from the seat to pave the way for Mamata Banerjee. Mamata Banerjee had lost the assembly elections from Nandigram earlier this year. Mamata was required to win in order to get elected to the assembly to retain the CM’s chair.

According to the Election Commission of India, Mamata Banerjee bagged 84,709 votes while Priyanka Tibrewal pocketed 26,320. CPIM leader Srijib Biswas got 4,201 votes.

Freshly inspired to work for public: Mamata

Mamata Banerjee said that the TMC has won in each and every ward. “I am satisfied because Bhabanipur has shown the way. All eyes were on this seat. I have been freshly inspired to work more for the people,” she said. Mamata Banerjee thanks the people of Bhabanipur after winning in the bypoll. “I thank you all. Sisters, brothers, mothers and everyone from India,” she said. “In 2016, I had seen that I got fewer votes in some wards. 46 per cent of the population is non-Bengali and everyone has voted for me. I am happy that the people of Bhabanipur has shown faith in me. I am indebted to the people of Bhabanipur.”

EC asks WB govt to ensure no violence after results

The Election Commission on Sunday wrote to the West Bengal government asking it to ensure all necessary steps to thwart post-poll violence after the results of the by-polls are declared on Sunday.

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], October 3 : In its letter to the Chief Secretary, the Chief Electoral Officer of the state has also asked the state administration to ensure that no victory celebration or procession is allowed during or after the counting of votes for by-elections in the state keeping in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes after several incidents of violence were reported at various places after the announcement of the Assembly poll results on May 2, after which a four-member team deputed by the Ministry of Home Affairs also visited the post-poll violence-affected areas.
“I am directed to reiterate that no victory celebration/procession during/after the counting shall be allowed in the ongoing elections in West Bengal, for which counting is being taken place on October 3. All necessary actions must be taken to ensure the strict compliance of commission’s direction wherein all such activities have already been prohibited in view of the pandemic,” the letter read.
“Further, state government must ensure that adequate steps are taken so that no post-poll violence takes place. Kindly ensure strict compliance of commission’s direction,” it added.
The counting of votes for by-elections in Bhabanipur, Jangipur, and Samserganj Assembly constituencies in West Bengal began at 8 am on Sunday amid tight security.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata as she was leading by 28,825 votes in Bhabanipur bypolls against BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal after the 9th round of counting.
Trinamool Congress had registered a landslide victory in assembly polls winning 213 of 294 seats in the West Bengal assembly. The BJP won 77 seats.

Illegal arms factory busted in West Bengal

Asansol (West Bengal) [India], October 2 : An illegal arms factory was busted in West Bengal’s Asansol district on Friday. Police have seized a huge cache of weapons and ammunition there. “Seven pistols of 7.2 mm, 20 unfinished pistols, 14 finished magazines and 5 unfinished magazines were recovered,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) West, Asansol-Durgapur Police Commissionerate Abhishek Modi informed.
“Apart from this, machines and tools used in making weapons have also been recovered from them,” he added.


Further, Modi informed that on September 23, an accused named Ash Mohammad was arrested and 25 pistols were recovered from him.
“On the information given by him, two accused from Uttar Pradesh were arrested. In the remand, the accused said that these people ran the arms factory at his house in the Disargarh area in Kulti police station,” he said.
The police have been on alert ever since.

Indian Army deployed in flood-affected areas of West Bengal

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], October 1 : The Indian Army has been deployed in the flood-affected areas in West Bengal including Asansol, Durgapur, Howrah, Hooghly districts, informed the Eastern Command on Friday.
The Eastern Command further informed that the Indian army has rescued at least 91 people since yesterday. Some districts are experiencing heavy rainfall for the past 48 hours. Several areas are inundated with rainwater reaching about six to eight feet.
Earlier on Thursday, The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted heavy rainfall at isolated places over Odisha, Gangetic West Bengal and Gujarat region.

Voting underway in Bhabanipore

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: Voting for by-elections to Bhabanipur Assembly seat, where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting from began at 7 am on Thursday amid tight security and necessary arrangements to conduct the polls if heavy rainfall that led to waterlogging in Kolkata a day ago, continues.


Apart from Bhabanipur, voting also began in Jangipur and Samserganj constituencies in Murshidabad district. BJP candidate for Bhabanipur, Priyanka Tibrewal alleged that Trinamool Congress (TMC) was purposely shutting voting machines at a polling booth of ward number 72 and was an attempt at capturing the booth.
Tiberwal reached the polling booth to inspect the situation.
Speaking to media persons here, Tibrewal said, “TMC’s Madan Mitra has purposely shut the voting machine here as he wants to capture the booth.”


All eyes are on the Bhabanipur by-election as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting from here. CPM has fielded its candidate Srijab Biswas from the constituency.
The bypoll was necessitated in Bhabanipur after MLA Sovandeb Chattopadhyay resigned to pave the way for Banerjee become the MLA from the constituency. In the 2021 West Bengal election, Banerjee had contested from Nandigram Assembly segment and was defeated by her confidant-turned-rival BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari.
In Jangipur and Samserganj polls were countermanded following the death of two candidates.
Polling in Samserganj could not take place on April 26 during the seventh phase of West Bengal Assembly elections due to the death of Congress candidate Rezaul Haque.
Similarly, the polling in Jangipur was not held due to the death of Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) candidate from Pradip Nandi.
TMC leaders Jakir Hossain and Amirul Islam are party candidates from Jangipur and Samserganj seats, respectively. The CPI(M) has fielded Md Modasar Hossain from Samserganj seat and Jane Alam Migya from Jangipur. Milan Ghosh is the BJP candidate from Samserganj while Sujit Das will contest from Jangipur.On directions of the Election Commission, Kolkata Police imposed restrictions under Section 144 of CrPC in the 200-metre radius of polling stations in the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency from Tuesday evening. The restrictions will be imposed till the conclusion of voting for the bypolls this evening at 6 pm.
A total 6,97,164 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the three constituencies in West Bengal and counting of votes will be held on October 3.

Cyclonic Gulab: IMD predicts heavy rainfall during next 2 days in districts adjoining Jharkhand, West Bengal

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India] : The India Meteorological Department (IMD) Bhubaneswar on Tuesday said that heavy rainfall would occur in the districts adjoining Jharkhand and West Bengal during the next two days under influence of cyclonic circulation.
Speaking to ANI, Director of IMD Bhubaneswar HR Biswas said, “Under influence of cyclonic circulation, a low-pressure area formed over Northwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining coastal areas of West Bengal, due to which heavy rainfall would occur in districts adjoining to Jharkhand and West Bengal during next two days.” Further, the director also advised fishermen of Odisha not to go into the sea till September 30.
“As per weather forecast, moderate rainfall will occur in northern coastal areas of Odisha and heavy rainfall in few areas during the next 24 hours. Fishermen are advised not to go in the sea till September 30,” Biswas added.
On Monday, the IMD informed that the Cyclonic storm ‘Gulab’ has weakened into a depression.

Rainfall in Jharkhand, WB

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India]: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) Bhubaneswar on Tuesday said that heavy rainfall would occur in the districts adjoining Jharkhand and West Bengal during the next two days under influence of cyclonic circulation.

Speaking to ANI, Director of IMD Bhubaneswar HR Biswas said, “Under influence of cyclonic circulation, a low-pressure area formed over Northwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining coastal areas of West Bengal, due to which heavy rainfall would occur in districts adjoining to Jharkhand and West Bengal during next two days.”
Further, the director also advised fishermen of Odisha not to go into the sea till September 30.

“As per weather forecast, moderate rainfall will occur in northern coastal areas of Odisha and heavy rainfall in few areas during the next 24 hours. Fishermen are advised not to go in the sea till September 30,” Biswas added.

On Monday, the IMD informed that the Cyclonic storm ‘Gulab’ has weakened into a depression. (ANI)

‘Bhabanipur bypoll to take place as per schedule”

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday refused to stay the Bhabanipur bypolls slated to take place on September 30th. In response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in court, which claimed that the Election Commission in a statement had noted that it had decided to hold a by-election to Bhabanipur constituency “considering the constitutional exigency and special request from state of West Bengal”, Calcutta HC served this verdict.

Kolkata, west bengal, india, september 28 : A bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj, however, passed adverse comments against the Chief Secretary of the West Bengal government for writing to the ECI seeking to expedite the bypolls.

Last week, the court pulled up the Election Commission and turned down the affidavit filed by the poll body on ‘prioritising’ the September 30 bypolls in the Bhabanipur assembly constituency.

Meanwhile, the suspension was also demanded by Bengal BJP Vice President Dilip Ghosh on Monday, following an alleged attack by the Trinamool Congress. He said there is no point to hold the elections if the state administration under Trinamool Congress (TMC)-led government cannot conduct an unbiased election.

Ghosh claims that he was attacked while campaigning for the Bhabanipur by-poll, said that the election must be held when the “Election Commission would be able to provide security to the candidates and voters of the Bhabanipur constituency. Till then the elections must stand cancelled”.

West Bengal: CBI arrests four in coal theft case

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested four persons in a case related to the alleged theft of coal in Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) areas in West Bengal, sources informed on Monday.
As per sources, the arrested persons have been identified as Jaydeb Mondal, Narayan Kharka alias Narayan Nanda, Gurupada Maji and Nirad Baran Mondal. Sources stated that all four were summoned to appear before the anti-corruption branch of the CBI in Kolkata. After the interrogation, they were formally arrested.
According to sources, it was alleged that the arrested persons were close associates of other accused and assisted them in engaging miners, arranging transporters and selling the illegally excavated coal.
The arrested accused will be produced before the Court of CBI Special Judge, Asansol, Paschim Bardhaman district.

What would CM of ‘unpeaceful’ West Bengal do at international peace summit: BJP leader

After Mamata Banerjee’s uproar over not being allowed to attend the global peace meet in Rome, BJP national secretary Anupam Hazra called West Bengal an ‘unpeaceful state’ and asked what would a Chief Minister of such a state do at an international peace summit.

New Delhi [India], September 26 : “Mamata Banerjee represents an unpeaceful state. What will someone who runs the most violent state do at a Peace Summit?” said the BJP leader. The comment came after Mamata Banerjee claimed that the Central government had disallowed her attendance at a global peace meet in Rome, where she was the only invitee from the country, “out of jealousy”.
Commenting on Banerjee’s “I am a Hindu” comment, Hazra said is now suddenly raising the Hindu issue. “Everyone knows that she is a Hindu woman. What is the need of pointing it out now? She is playing the Hindu card now, it is a little funny in this context,” he said.
Expressing concern over the “risk of spoiling India’s image on a global platform”, Hazra said, “PM Modi has created a reputation for India in the last 7 years. At a global platform like this one, we do not want a personality like hers to go and spoil what’s been built (reputation),” he added.
“She cannot be trusted with her words at a global platform. Just recently, she compared the BJP workers to a dead dog. What even was her statement; why would Modi Ji be jealous of her?” he added.
Claiming that the West Bengal Chief Minister lost her MLA seat due to her own mistakes, Hazra said, “Why would the Prime Minister of the country, a man who is counted among the top five powerful leaders of the world, be jealous of her?”
Hazra also raised questions on Banerjee’s invitation to the event and said that he doubts “there is a link between the Catholic association and her”.
Reacting to Banerjee’s comment that TMC alone can unseat BJP in Centre and that the ‘Khela’ would begin from Bhabanipur by-polls and finish after winning India, Hazra said that the BJP is not taking her seriously.
“She should focus on the fact that she is getting a second chance and should save her MLA seat at Bhabanipur first,” he said.
“She keeps talking about ‘Khela’ over and over again. West Bengal is the only state where no work is done, just ‘Khela hobe’. BJP wants to change this culture of games and wants to begin a culture of work instead,” he added.
Further, Hazra claimed that Banerjee might try to play the ‘sympathy card’ again, and said, “I think didi may have said so much because she is under a lot of pressure due to the by-polls campaigns. She is afraid that she might not win this time.”
Earlier, Banerjee had attacked the Centra government and said, “I am not eager to visit foreign countries, but this was about the respect of the nation. You (PM Modi) keep talking about Hindus, I am also a Hindu woman, why did you not allow me? You are totally jealous.”
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced the schedule of by-polls to be held in the state. According to the schedule, the by-election in Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency in West Bengal will be held on September 30.

Cyclone Gulab to hit West Bengal coast on September 29

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] The cyclonic storm Gulab is likely to reach the West Bengal coast around September 29, director of IMD Kolkata GK Das informed on Saturday.

“South Bengal is likely to have enhanced weather activity particularly in terms of heavy rainfall and wind on September 28-29. Heavy rainfall is expected over Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, East and West Medinipur, Jhargram, Howrah, Hooghly on September 28,” Das told ANI.
“A cyclonic circulation is likely to form over the northeast and adjoining the East-central Bay of Bengal. In the subsequent 24 hours, it will be a low-pressure area and likely to reach the West Bengal coast around September 29,” he said.

Warnings have been issued in parts of southern Odisha that are likely to be heavily affected by the cyclonic storm Gulab.

Earlier, yesterday the IMD informed that the deep depression over northwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal has moved nearly westwards and has intensified into Cyclonic Storm Gulab.

According to the National Disaster Response Force, 13 teams (24 sub-teams) have been deployed in Odisha and five in Andhra Pradesh. (ANI)

TMC’s goal is to separate West Bengal, make ‘Greater Bangladesh’: WB BJP chief

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: Slamming the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Sukanta Majumdar on Friday said the ultimate goal of the TMC is to separate the state and make a ‘Greater Bangladesh’.
Speaking to ANI, Majumdar said, “People doubt TMC. BJP’s ideology is strong. Many people including Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi had tried to suppress our ideology but they could not. Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee are not as big leaders as Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Even if they win all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal it will be just 42. How will they challenge the BJP which is a national party? It is like an ant is trying to fight with an elephant.” Speaking about TMC general secretary’s remark that if the party opens its ‘gates’ all BJP leaders will join it, he said, “Abhishek Banerjee says anything. Those who believe the ideology of BJP…who say Bharat Mata ki Jai from their heart they can never join TMC. The ultimate goal of TMC is to separate West Bengal and make a Greater Bangladesh.”
Notably, former Union Minister Babul Supriyo joined TMC last week.
Following this, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh had said more leaders will join the party in the coming days as BJP is “just a gas balloon with no ideology”.
Speaking to ANI, Ghosh said, “Many BJP leaders are in talks with TMC leadership. They are not satisfied with BJP. Babul Supriyo joined today, another wants to join tomorrow. This process will go on. Wait and watch. BJP is just a gas balloon. BJP does not have any ideology. Nobody can adjust to their anti-people policies that is the reason people are leaving the party.”
Earlier this month, former BJP MLAs Soumen Roy and Tanmoy Ghosh had joined TMC.
West Bengal has been witnessing a reverse trend of leaders rejoining TMC from BJP after the assembly elections results. Earlier, BJP heavyweight Mukul Roy and his son Subhranshu Roy had joined TMC.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC registered a landslide victory in polls winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. Despite aggressive campaigning, the BJP lost the polls but emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats.

IT conducts searches in WB

New Delhi [India]: The Income Tax department carried out a search and seizure operation at 25 premises connected with a prominent group engaged in the manufacturing of steel products, said the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday.
According to an official release, 25 premises consisting of eight residences, nine offices and eight factories, spread over Kolkata, Durgapur, Asansol and Purulia and other regions of West Bengal were covered in the operation on Friday. “The search operation has led to the detection of a huge quantity of incriminating documents and digital evidence from different premises. Evidence pertaining to the generation of unaccounted income by the group by way of unaccounted cash sales, unaccounted cash expenditure, purchase from bogus parties, under-reporting of actual production, cash purchases of scrap, several documents of land purchases and sale among others,” the release by the Finance Ministry said.
The ministry said that evidence has also been found pertaining to the utilisation of the unaccounted income in the form of unsecured loans and sale of shares of shell entities through a layering of the unaccounted income.
“A large number of property documents pertaining to one of the members of the group, showing land and property holding in different names, have also been seized. The total amount of such incriminating evidence pertaining to the manufacturing group exceeds Rs 700 crore. The operation has led to the seizure of unaccounted cash amounting to Rs 20 lakh while 2 lockers remain to be operated,” it said.
During the search operation, an accommodation entry provider, who was providing entries to the searched group, was also covered.
“From his secret back office, a huge number of incriminating documents pertaining to providing accommodation entries through modes like sale of shares of shell companies, unsecured loans from shell entities, bogus billing, etc. have been found, the total amount of which runs into several hundreds of crores of rupees,” said the release.
Evidence of more than 200 companies/entities having more than 200 bank accounts being managed from the entry operator’s premises has been found, it added.
On the basis of preliminary examination of these documents, the Finance Ministry said it appears that these bank accounts and entities have been used as conduits to route the unaccounted income of many beneficiaries.

‘BJP will end culture of post-poll violence in WB’

Newly-appointed President of West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sukanta Majumdar on Tuesday assured that the party would end the culture of the post-poll violence in the state. He also assured justice to people killed in the violence that followed the Assembly polls.

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], September 21 : “Post-Poll violence was not a part of West Bengal’s culture, it has come from outside. We will get justice for the people killed in the post-poll violence. The BJP workers who were beaten up by the TMC goondas, I won’t say TMC workers. I have faith in the Indian judiciary that it will give them justice,” he said. “Violence has now become a part of the political culture of the state. Only BJP can end this. There is no violence in other states,” Majumdar added.
Commenting on the upcoming bypolls for three assembly constituencies in Bhabanipur, Samserganj and Jangipur in West Bengal, and assured, “We will work as a team. We will perform better in upcoming elections, including panchayat, municipalities and Lok Sabha”.
In August, Calcutta High Court ordered a court-monitored CBI probe into the incidents of post-poll violence in the state.
The High Court also ordered to set up Special Investigation Teams (SIT) for investigation and senior officers from West Bengal cadre will be a part of the team and directed the state government to take immediate steps for compensation for the victims of post-poll violence.
Soon after the results of assembly polls in Bengal on May 2 were declared, violent incidents were reported after supporters of TMC and BJP allegedly clashed in various parts of the state since May 2, killing many people and triggering an alleged exodus.
A four-member team deputed by the Ministry of Home Affairs had also visited the post-poll violence-affected areas.

WB: BJP not to field candidate

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], September 20 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will not field any candidate for Rajya Sabha bypoll for West Bengal, said Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Suvendu Adhikari on Monday.
“BJP will not nominate any candidate for Rajyasabha bypoll due in West Bengal. The outcome is predetermined. Our focus is to make sure unelected CM to be unelected once again. Jai Ma Kali,” tweeted Adhikari. Notably, Trinamool Congress (TMC) last week nominated Sushmita Dev, who joined the party recently, as the party nominee for the Rajya Sabha bypoll from West Bengal.
The Election Commission had earlier this month announced bypolls for six Rajya Sabha seats across five states. These seats fell vacant due to the resignation or death of the sitting MP. It also announced biennial election for one seat from Puducherry.


Meanwhile, BJP on Saturday named Union Minister Sarbananada Sonowal and Minister of State (MoS) L Murugan as its candidates for upcoming by-polls to Rajya Sabha from Assam and Madhya Pradesh respectively.
Voting for all seats is scheduled for October 4. The six Rajya Sabha seats include two in Tamil Nadu and one seat each in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Assam and Madhya Pradesh. (

Babul Supriyo thanks ‘Didi”

Former Union Minister Babul Supriyo, who left the BJP to join Trinamool Congress, thanked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the TMC for making him a part of the party’s ‘playing 11’.

New Delhi [India], September 19 : Supriyo also thanked TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee and asserted that he will continue to work for public welfare. Addressing the reporters today in Delhi, Supriyo said, “I thank Mamata didi, Abhishek Banerjee and the TMC for giving me a chance in the ‘playing 11’. I am aware of trolling on social media. I have been engaged in politics for the last 7 years. I felt it was a good opportunity (on joining TMC) for public welfare.”
When asked how he will celebrate as he joined the TMC, he said, “I will sing no song and no post will be released. For seven years, I have fought at the grassroots level. I have nothing to prove to anyone. People have seen my work. Mamata Banerjee is an important leader of the country. Everything is fair in love and war. I have rivals, but no enemies. I am not making any history by joining the TMC. I am following an opportunity and fulfilling responsibility for the nation.”


BJP party members slammed Supriyo for joining the TMC.
“The Opposition party has a place in a democracy and Mamata Banerjee is a strong face of the opposition party. You are seeing how the people of the opposition party are coming to her. The BJP will criticise us. It’s natural,” Supriyo said.
Earlier, Supriyo had announced he was leaving politics and will also resign as an MP. He had stated that he would not join any political party and neither have the parties including the Trinamool Congress, CPI(M) or Congress had called him.
Babul Supriyo had resigned in August as minister of state for Environment, Forest and Climate Change. In a Facebook post, he said that there was a difference of opinion between him and the state BJP leaders and that the difference of opinion among senior leaders was “harming the party”.
Notably, Supriyo’s security cover has been changed to Y from the Z category on Saturday. He has been given security by the central government. Supriyo has a security cover of the Central Reserve Police Force.

‘Won’t let India become Pakistan’

Bhabanipur bypoll: Mamata Banerjee is required to win a seat in the state assembly by November 5 in conformity with the constitutional provisions to continue as CM.

Kolkata, west Bengal, India, September 17 : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that she will not allow the country to turn into Pakistan or the Taliban. While campaigning in the Bhabanipur constituency in south Kolkata where polling will take place on September 30, Banerjee lashed out at the BJP and accused the saffron party of practising divisive politics. Banerjee’s pitch came after the BJP claimed that Bhabanipur will become Pakistan if the TMC wins the by-poll.

“I don’t like the policies and politics of the BJP. They only follow the politics of dividing people on religious lines. In Nandigram, they had said it would become Pakistan (if the TMC wins). In Bhabanipur too, they are saying it will turn into Pakistan. This is shameful,” Banerjee, who is TMC’s candidate from here said on Thursday.

“I want my country to be strong and will protect my motherland with all my might. We don’t want India to become another Taliban (ruled state). I will never allow my country to turn into Pakistan,” she added.

Banerjee had lost to Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP from Nandigram during the assembly election held earlier this year. She has to win this by-poll to retain her Chief Minister’s post.

Criticising the BJP for taking exception to her recent visit to a mosque in the area, Banerjee said the saffron camp has a problem with her visiting a Gurudwara too. “I have visited a mosque; I have visited a Gurudwara also; and the BJP has a problem with both. I don’t bring religion into politics, unlike the BJP leaders who only understand the language of divisive politics,” she said.

On the sizeable Hindi-speaking population of the Bhabanipur constituency, the TMC boss said she would stand by them through thick and thin. “I never differentiate among communities. It is the BJP which destroys brotherhood and social fabric among communities,” she said.

‘I was first politician to oppose demonetisation’

To woo the area’s business community, Banerjee said she was the first politician in the country who had opposed demonetisation in 2016. “I was the first to oppose demonetisation. I know the kind of harassment the business community has gone through during demonetisation. I used to regularly visit Burrabazar (the business hub of Kolkata) and talk to the business community members,” she said.

Hitting out at the saffron camp over its “ploy” to sell off the country’s assets, she said those were not personal property of the BJP. “The government is trying to sell off the entire country. Railways, airports and ports. They want to sell everything off. Can you sell the soil of the country?” Banerjee said.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in August announced a Rs 6 lakh crore National Monetisation Pipeline that will look to unlock value in infrastructure assets across sectors ranging from power to road and railways.

Banerjee said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should speak to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to ensure that Covaxin is recognised so that those who availed that vaccine against Covid-19 can travel abroad.

Later, Banerjee visited the Laxmi Narayan Temple in the area and offered puja. She was also seen offering ‘Arati’. A metropolitan constituency, Bhabanipur is home to a large number of Gujaratis and Sikhs, mostly into business, living alongside Bengalis.

Banerjee, who is herself a resident of Bhabanipur constituency, had won the seat twice in 2011 and 2016 but shifted to Nandigram, to dare her former protege and now a BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari in his home turf. Though Banerjee powered the TMC to a resounding win for a third straight term in office, she lost in Nandigram.

Banerjee is required to win a seat in the state assembly by November 5 in conformity with the constitutional provisions to continue as CM. After her defeat in Nandigram, state cabinet minister and TMC MLA from Bhabanipur Sovandeb Chattopadhyay vacated the seat to allow Banerjee to contest from there. Banerjee is pitted against the BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal and CPI(M)’s Srijib Biswas for the September 30 by-poll. Congress has decided not to field a candidate against her. The votes will be counted on October 3.

NIA officials reach WB to probe bombing

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials reached Jagaddal on Thursday to probe incidents of bombings outside Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Arjun Singh’s residence last week.

North 24 Parganas (West Bengal) [India], September 16 : NIA officials arrived at BJP MP Arjun Singh’s residence in Jagaddal, North 24 Parganas to probe September 8 bombing case there. “I have seen two officers here and another NIA team is on the way. They will talk to the local police. I have given all details about bombings,” Singh told reporters.

Three crude bombs were hurled outside the house of Arjun Singh ‘Majdoor Bhavan’ at Jagaddal in Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, despite security presence, on September 8 morning between 6 am and 6.30 am. The bombs hit one of the entrance gates of the house, however, no injuries were reported in the incident.


The BJP leader was not present at his home and was in Delhi at the time of the incident, but his family members were inside the house.
Soon after the attack, the BJP has reacted strongly and Darjeeling MP Raju Bista asked for an NIA investigation in the matter. The West Bengal BJP has claimed that the ruling Trinamool Congress was behind the attack on the BJP MP’s residence.
However, the TMC had refuted the charges and said that the attack was a result of the internal feud in the Bengal BJP.
Meanwhile, the Centre has upgraded Singh’s armed security cover to ‘Z’ category after the incident.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday issued an order giving the security responsibility of the leader to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). “The paramilitary wing under the Central government took the charge on Tuesday,” a government source told ANI.
The leader will be provided with the security cover only in West Bengal, said the source, adding “Arjun Singh was earlier being provided “Y +” category security by the CISF.
The CISF has been providing ‘Y+’ security cover to Arjun Singh since March 2019.
Singh, an MP from Barrackpore parliamentary constituency, has now been put under security cover of more than nine armed CISF troops at his house round the clock. A squad of five armed commandos will provide security to the leader while travelling within West Bengal.
Singh, who was a Trinamool Congress MLA, joined the BJP in 2019 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and won from the Barrackpore parliamentary constituency.

“Mamata Didn’t disclose Criminal Cases”

BJP has alleged that Mamata Banerjee did not mention about pending criminal cases in her nomination papers for Bhabanipur by-poll

Kolkata, west Bengal, India, September 14 : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee did not mention about pending criminal cases in her nomination papers for Bhabanipur by-poll. The saffron party has also filed a complaint with the Election Commission against the TMC chief.

While the BJP has fielded Priyanka Tibrewal, a lawyer by profession, CPI(M) has fielded lawyer Srijib Biswas from the seat. Congress has refrained from taking part in the by-election. Bhabanipur will go to the polls on September 30 and the results will be declared on October 3. 

Earlier on Friday, Banerjee filed her nomination for the by-poll winning which is an absolute necessity for her to continue as the Chief Minister. 

Banerjee, a resident of Bhabanipur, had won the seat twice in 2011 and 2016 but shifted to Nandigram, where the anti-farmland acquisition movement against the Left Front government had transformed her into a major political force in the volatile state, to dare her former protege and now a BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on his home turf. Though Banerjee powered the TMC to a resounding win for a third straight term in office, she lost in Nandigram. She now must win Bhabanipur to ensure an unbroken stint as the Chief Minister.

Banerjee is required to win a seat in the state assembly by November 5 in conformity with the constitutional provisions in order to continue as Chief Minister. The Constitution allows a non-member of a state legislature or Parliament to continue in a ministerial position without getting elected only for six months.

After her defeat in Nandigram, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, state cabinet minister and TMC MLA from Bhabanipur, vacated the seat to facilitate her return to the assembly from there.

Banerjee was first elected to the Assembly in a by-poll from Bhabanipur months after the TMC stormed to power ousting the 34-year-old Left Front dispensation in 2011. She represented South Kolkata Lok Sabha seat, of which Bhabanipur is a segment, six times.

WB : Priyanka to file Nomination

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], September 12: Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) candidate Priyanka Tebriwal will file her nomination papers for the byelection to the Bhabanipur seat on Monday against West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Supremo Mamata Banerjee.
Targeting the chief minister over post-poll violence, Tibrewal said that the people of the state have the right to live but this right is being taken away by Mamata Banerjee and her party. “I will file my nomination tomorrow. The people of West Bengal have the right to live. This right is being taken away from them by the Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee. I am fighting for the people of Bengal,” said Tiberwal as she kickstarted the poll campaign along with Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh by painting the party symbol on a wall in the Bhabanipur.


Tibrewal on Saturday visited the Kalighat Temple, Kolkata, where she offered her prayers to Goddess Kali.
Tibrewal also stated that the Elections would not be conducted with transparency as the ruling party supports violence. “My fight is against the members of the ruling party as they have done injustice to the people of West Bengal,” she added.
She later appealed to the people of West Bengal to come out and cast their vote.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee is contesting from Bhabanipur.
Earlier on September 8, Congress announced that the party will not be fielding any candidate for the Bhabanipur by-polls.
Bypolls will be held in Bhabanipur on September 30 and results will be declared by October 3.

BJP will win Bhabanipur: BJP

Patna (Bihar) [India], September 11 : Exuding confidence over the victory of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming by-elections in West Bengal, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain on Friday said like Nandigram, the party will win in Bhabanipur bypolls as well.
Speaking to ANI, Hussain said, “BJP is going to win the Bhabanipur bypolls like we won the Nandigram constituency in West Bengal Assembly polls.” BJP has fielded Priyanka Tibrewal, a lawyer by profession as its candidate in the upcoming Bhabanipur bypolls pitting her against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on September 30. The Bhabanipur assembly seat was vacated by West Bengal Agriculture Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May, making way for Mamata Banerjee to contest.
Earlier in the state Assembly polls, Mamata Banerjee had lost in Nandigram to her former aide Suvendu Adhikari, who joined the BJP.
Commenting on Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP leader said, “Rahul Gandhi should see the peace and harmony in Jammu and Kashmir. He should also visit those areas where terrorism was at peak during the UPA’s tenure.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is on a visit to Jammu and Kashmir. On his visit, he went to the Vaishno Devi temple. Earlier, on Friday, Rahul Gandhi addressed the party office bearers meeting where senior party leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad and others were present.
Notably, this will be Rahul Gandhi’s second visit to Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370.
Earlier, he visited the union territory on August 9. During his last visit, Rahul Gandhi inaugurated the new party office in Srinagar. He also visited Kheer Bhawani temple and Hazrat Dargah Sharif.

Bhabanipur by-poll: Mamata Banerjee files nomination

Mamata Banerjee will file her nomination today, As per the schedule, polling will take place on September 30 while results will be announced on October 4.

Kolkata, west Bengal, India, September 10 : West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee on Friday filed her nomination papers for the by-polls to the Bhabanipur seat. Banerjee needs to win in order to hold on to her office.

As per the schedule, polling will take place on September 30 while results will be announced on October 4.

The TMC had on Sunday officially announced Mamata Banerjee as its candidate for the by-election in Bhabanipur. TMC’s campaign in the south Kolkata seat is underway after the Election Commission announced the bypoll last week following a request from the state government to avoid a constitutional crisis.

Banerjee, who lost the election in Nandigram to her former protege Suvendu Adhikari, has to win this by-poll to retain her Chief Minister’s post.

The bypoll will be held on September 30 along with the elections to Samserganj and Jangipur seats in Murshidabad district where polling could not be held during the eight-phase assembly election held earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the TMC has pulled out all the stops to ensure Banerjee’s victory by a record margin and has engaged senior leaders to look after the eight municipal wards in the constituency. Party state president (Subrata Bakshi) has been given the responsibility of ward 63, party secretary-general and minister Partha Chatterjee has been assigned with ward numbers 71 and 72, state minister Firhad Hakim and other senior leaders have been asked to look after other wards.

Banerjee is a resident of Bhabanipur and has contested from the seat in the past two state assembly elections since 2011.

Banerjee, who led her party to a massive electoral triumph for a third successive term, is required to win a seat in the state assembly by November 5 in conformity with the constitutional provisions to continue as Chief Minister. The Constitution allows a non-member of a state legislature or Parliament to continue in a ministerial position for six months.

After her defeat in Nandigram, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, state Cabinet minister and TMC MLA from Bhabanipur, vacated the seat to facilitate her election from there. Banerjee had entered the Assembly after winning the by-poll in the Bhabanipur seat months after her party stormed to power by ousting the 34-year-old Left Front regime in 2011. She is a six-term MP from the South Kolkata Lok Sabha seat, which has the Bhabanipur seat as one of its segments.

Scant regard for Maa Durga stands exposed : TMC

A day after the BJP wrote to the Election Commission urging to take action against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for violating the Model Code of Conduct by announcing cash rewards for Durga Puja clubs despite the declaration of by-poll dates, the TMC hit back at the BJP alleging “their scant regard for Maa Durga and the traditions of Bengal stands exposed”.

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], September 8 : Terming the BJP “self-proclaimed custodians of Hindu culture and values”, the TMC accused it of disrespecting Hindu festivals and not understanding Hinduism. The official Twitter handle of TMC today alleged, “The self-proclaimed custodians of Hindu culture and values clearly DO NOT understand Hinduism, forget about respecting Hindu festivals! Now, their scant regard for Maa Durga and the traditions of Bengal stands exposed! This is an act of utter shame @BJP4Bengal”
On Tuesday, a West Bengal BJP delegation including state vice president Pratap Banerjee, party leader Shishir Bajoria and Balurghat MP Sukanta Majumdar visited the EC office in Kolkata.
“We urge EC to take action against Bhabanipur candidate Mamata Banerjee including restraining her from participating in ensuing by-polls for violating Model Code of Conduct by announcing cash rewards for Durga Puja clubs despite the declaration of by-polls date,” the BJP delegation said.
The BJP delegation also handed over a letter to Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal in this regard.
“We draw your attention to the program organised by the West Bengal Government in the Netaji Indoor Stadium addressed by the unelected Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Chief Secretary. In this program, the Durga Puja organising clubs were invited wherein cash donation and other facilities by the state government were announced for 36,000 clubs in the State including 2,500 clubs in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation area,” read the BJP’s letter to EC.

Congress’s U-turn, says won’t contest against Mamata

The Congress will neither field any candidate opposite Banerjee nor campaign against her in the run up to the September 30 bypoll, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.

A day after promising to field its candidate against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the Bhabanipur bypoll, the Congress on Tuesday took a U-turn over its stand and said the party will not pit anybody against the Trinamool Congress supremo.

As instructed by the AICC, the Congress will neither field any candidate opposite Banerjee nor campaign against her in the run up to the September 30 bypoll, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told reporters in Baharampur.

On Monday, Chowdhury had told reporters that the Congress would field a candidate against Banerjee in Bhabanipur, claiming that the majority of PCC members were in favour of such a decision.

Two months ago, Chowdhury had advocated not fielding any candidate against the chief minister out of political courtesy.

Reacting to the AICC decision, CPIM leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “We will field a candidate as those opposed to the TMC and BJP needed an alternative. We cannot ask the Congress to change its decision.”

BJP MP’s home attacked

Although there has been no reaction from the BJP MP over the incident, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar posted about what he called unabated “wanton violence” in Bengal and said he had flagged his concern to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

At least three bombs were thrown at BJP MP Arjun Singh’s home early on Wednesday morning but no injuries were caused. The incident took place around 6.30 am. According to reports, the BJP leader was in Delhi at the time of the incident, but his family members were inside the house. The bombs have left marks at the MP’s gates.

Although there has been no reaction from the BJP MP over the incident, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar posted about what he called unabated “wanton violence” in Bengal and said he had flagged his concern to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“Wanton violence in West Bengal shows no sign of abating. Bomb explosions as this morning outside residence of Member Parliament Arjun Singh is worrisome on law and order. Expect prompt action (by Bengal Police). As regards his security the issue has been earlier been flagged @MamataOfficial,” tweeted Dhankhar.

Congress to field candidate against Mamata

The notification for the Bhabanipur bypoll was issued on September 6, beginning the nomination process. September 13 is the last date of filing nominations, while scrutiny of papers will take place on September 14. September 16 is the last date to withdraw from the electoral battle. Counting will be held on October 3.

Kolkata, west Bengal, India, September 7 : Changing its earlier stance, the West Bengal Congress on Monday announced it has decided to field a candidate against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the September 30 by-poll in the Bhabanipur assembly seat and the name of the party nominee will be sent to AICC for consent. The decision made at a Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) meeting to contest the by-election came at a time when the party and the Mamata Banerjee-headed Trinamool Congress are maintaining a bonhomie at the national level since July.

“Majority of our members were in favour of contesting against Trinamool and we have decided to field our candidate from that seat (Bhabanipur). We will fight the elections with Left Front and announce candidates after discussion with them,” state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told a press conference.

During the assembly elections held earlier this year, TMC nominee Sovandeb Chattopadhyay won from Bhabanipur in south Kolkata and he has vacated the seat later necessitating the by-poll. The Congress, which fought the polls in alliance with the Left parties, fielded a candidate from there.

Chowdhury, who had earlier advocated not to put up any candidate against Banerjee in Bhabanipur as a matter of courtesy, said the ruling party is not showing political courtesy.

The TMC recently attacked Congress workers and demonstrated against opposition leaders like him, Chowdhury alleged. The TMC, however, did not attach any importance to the Congress’ decision to contest the by-poll from Bhabanipur.

“The Congress and the Left are two big zeroes in terms of their influence in the state. When you add two zeros, you get another zero,” TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said.

The Congress and TMC have been showing closeness to each other at the national level of late. The TMC supremo in July went to Delhi in a bid to bring together the non-BJP forces ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. She met senior opposition leaders including AICC president Sonia Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence. The Congress had then also tweeted, along with a photograph of TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, claiming that Mamata Banerjee’s nephew is a victim of Pegasus spyware snooping.

Banerjee had moved out of her traditional Bhabanipur seat to fight in Nandigram during the assembly polls but lost to Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP. After the election results were out, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay who won from Bhabanipur vacated the seat to allow Banerjee to contest from there. Banerjee had won from Bhabanipur twice since 2011.

The TMC supremo has to win this by-poll to retain her chief minister’s post. The by-poll will be held on September 30 along with the elections to two seats in Murshidabad district – Samserganj and Jangipur – where polling was countermanded during the eight-phase assembly elections earlier this year due to death of candidates.

“It is unfortunate that we cannot field a candidate from our party from Samserganj. We cannot force anyone,” Chowdhury said.

The party cannot field any new candidate from the Samserganj seat as per rules. Its candidate Amirul Islam recently expressed unwillingness to contest. Jakir Hossain is the CPI(M) candidate from Jangipur.

The notification for the Bhabanipur bypoll was issued on September 6, beginning the nomination process. September 13 is the last date of filing nominations, while scrutiny of papers will take place on September 14. September 16 is the last date to withdraw from the electoral battle. Counting will be held on October 3.

Cong Candidate against Mamata?

The Indian National Congress is unlikely to field a candidate against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the upcoming by-elections to Bhabanipur constituency on September 30.

Kolkata, West Bengal, India, September 6 : Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday officially announced that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is the party’s candidate for Bhabanipur assembly constituency by-elections which will be held on September 30. Further, TMC leaders Jakir Hossain and Amirul Islam will be the party’s candidates for Jangipur and Samserganj seats respectively.
Earlier on Saturday, the Election Commission has announced to hold by-elections to three assembly seats in West Bengal on September 30. These constituencies include Bhabanipur, the traditional seat of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, from where she will contest the by-elections. Besides Bhabanipur, by-polls will be held in Samserganj and Jangipur constituencies. The counting of votes will take place on October 3.
Notably, Mamata Banerjee was defeated by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari in the Nandigram assembly constituency in the state Assembly polls held earlier this year.
Following this, the Bhabanipur assembly seat was vacated by the West Bengal Agriculture Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May, making way for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to contest from the seat. The election on the seat is crucial for Banerjee to win if she has to remain the chief minister of the state.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC registered a landslide victory in polls winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. Despite aggressive campaigning, the BJP lost the polls but emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats.

Abhishek Banerjee Appears before ED

Coal Scam Case: Abhishek Banerjee has said that he would get himself hanged if any central agency can bring to the fore his involvement in any illegal transaction.

New Delhi, India, September 6 : Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Monday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Delhi today in connection with the coal scam case. Abhishek, the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was summoned along with his wife Rujira for questioning in connection to a money laundering case linked to an alleged coal scam. However, Rujira urged the ED to allow her to appear before officials in Kolkata as she expressed unwillingness to travel to the national capital due to Covid-19. 

“TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee appears before ED for questioning in money laundering case,” ED officials told. Earlier on Sunday, Abhishek Banerjee Sunday said that he would get himself hanged if any central agency can bring to the fore his involvement in any illegal transaction. Speaking to reporters at the Kolkata airport on his way to New Delhi to attend a summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with an alleged coal scam case, Banerjee accused the BJP of indulging in political vendetta having lost the state assembly elections.

“I reiterate what I had said in November at public meetings that if any central agency can prove my involvement in any illegal transaction of even 10 paise, there will be no need to hold any CBI or ED probe, I will walk up the podium and get myself hanged publicly,” he said.

He has been summoned to appear before the investigating officer of the case in New Delhi on September 6 for questioning in a money laundering case linked to the alleged coal scam in West Bengal.

“I am ready to face any and every kind of investigation,” Banerjee said, adding that despite it being a case of Kolkata, he was summoned to New Delhi. “Having lost the elections and failing to tackle Trinamool Congress politically, they (BJP) are now seeking revenge,” he claimed.

The BJP has no other job than to use the investigating agencies to fulfil their political interests, he alleged. Banerjee said that he would like to invite any BJP leader to sit face to face with him and discuss what the central agencies have done in the last five years and the fate of the country in the seven-year-rule of the Narendra Modi government.

“You (BJP) decide the date, time and venue and I will go; if I cannot expose them then I will not put my feet in the political arena anymore,” he asserted.

By-election in Mamata’s strong hold Bhawanipur on Sept 30; counting on Oct 3

The Bhabanipur assembly seat was vacated by the West Bengal agriculture minister and veteran TMC leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May this year.

Kolkata, west Bengal, September 4 : The by-election in Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency in West Bengal will be held on September 30, the Election Commission said on Saturday. The poll body also said polls in West Bengal’s Samserganj and Jangipur, and in Odisha’s Pipli will also be held on the said date. The counting of votes will be taken up on October 3, the Election Commission said. The Bhabanipur assembly seat was vacated by the West Bengal agriculture minister

and veteran TMC leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May this year, thus paving way for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to contest bypoll from her old bastion. 

Banerjee, who lost the polls from Nandigram, needs to get elected to the assembly to hold on to the chief minister’s chair.

Chattopadhyay had tendered his resignation to Assembly speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay in the presence of senior party leader and his ministerial colleague Partha Chatterjee.

Before leaving for the state legislature, had said he would happily abide by the party’s decision.

Chattopadhyay, who had earlier represented the Rashbehari assembly seat, contested from Bhabanipur this year and defeated BJP’s Rudranil Ghosh by a convincing margin.

Banerjee had won the seat in 2011 and 2016.

WB post-poll violence: State appoints 10 IPS officers to assist SIT

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], September 2 (ANI): The government on Wednesday appointed 10 Indian Police Service (IPS) officers (zone-wise) to assist the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to probe the post-poll violence, informed West Bengal Home and Hill Affairs Department.
The Calcutta High Court on August 19 ordered a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal. The High Court also ordered to set up SIT for investigation of relatively less serious crimes and senior officers from West Bengal cadre will be a part of the team. The five zones are headquarters, north zone, west zone, south zone and Kolkata Police.

ED conducts raids across 10 locations in Kolkata

Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday conducted raids across 10 locations in Kolkata in connection with the fake vaccine case.

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], September 1 : Officials carried out the raids at different locations in Kolkata. The officials also confirmed the raids. Earlier, Debanjan Deb who was impersonating as an IAS officer was arrested by Kolkata Police for conducting fake vaccination drive.
On July 3, the office of Debanjan Deb was raided by the Detective Department of the Special Investigation Team (SIT).
According to the Kolkata Police, voluminous material, such as attendance registers, visitor slips, applications for jobs, fake tender documents and several others were seized.
Prior to this, an SIT was formed on June 25 by the police to investigate the matter just days after TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty was allegedly given fake vaccination at such a camp. Deb was subsequently arrested based on Chakraborty’s complaint.
On June 26, the West Bengal government had formed a four-member expert committee to examine the effect of the fake COVID-19 vaccination in Kolkata and also take corrective actions.
Further probe in the matter is underway.

Two BJP leaders join Mamata’s TMC

Two leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday. BJP MLA Biswajit Das and councillor Manatosh Nath joined the TMC at a ceremony in Kolkata.

kolkata, West Bengal, August 31 : Two leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday. BJP MLA Biswajit Das and councillor Manatosh Nath joined the saffron party at a ceremony in Kolkata. 

In an interaction post the joining, Das said he has returned to his “home” and will continue to work for people of the state and constituency. “Due to some misunderstandings, some changes were made that shouldn’t have been made. I’ve returned to my home now and I will continue to work for people of my state and constituency,” he said. 

Earlier on Monday, Bishnupur MLA Tanmoy Ghosh had joined the TMC, alleging that BJP was indulging in vindictive politics. He had switched over to the BJP from TMC in March, days ahead of the state elections. Earlier, he was the TMC Youth president of Bishnupur town in Bankura district and also a councillor of the local civic body.

BJP MLA Tanmoy Ghosh joins Trinamool Congress

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], August 30 : Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Member of Legislative Assembly from Bishnupur, Tanmoy Ghosh, has joined Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday.
“BJP is into vindictive politics. They are attempting to snatch the rights of the people of West Bengal by using central agencies,” Ghosh said soon after joining TMC. Further, he also urged all politicians to support Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for ‘public welfare’.
Ghosh had defeated Archita Bid of TMC by 11,133 votes in the West Bengal Assembly elections 2021.
The TMC extended a warm welcome to Tanmoy Ghosh and in a tweet said, “Inspired by @MamataOfficial’s developmental work for the people of #Bengal, @BJP4Bengal MLA from Bishnupur Shri Tanmay Ghosh joined the Trinamool family today in the presence of Shri @basu_bratya. We extend a very warm welcome to him!”
Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress won 213 seats in the recent West Bengal Assembly elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party garnered 77 seats in the 294-seat state assembly

PM Modi condoles Buddhadeb Guha’s demise, says his ‘works were enjoyed across generations’

New Delhi [India], August 30 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences on the demise of popular Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha and said his writings were multifaceted and displayed great sensitivity to the environment.
The Prime Minister noted that his works were enjoyed across generations. “Shri Buddhadeb Guha’s writings were multifaceted and displayed great sensitivity to the environment. His works were enjoyed across generations, particularly among youngsters. His passing away is a big loss to the literary world. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” tweeted PM Modi.

Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha passes away

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], August 30 : Eminent Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha passed away at a private hospital in Kolkata on Sunday night after a cardiac arrest.
Guha, 85 left behind two daughters. Some of his notable works include ‘Madhukari’, ‘Koeler Kachhe’, ‘Sobinoy Nibedon’ and ‘Baba Howa’. Guha was also popular among children as he was the creator of the fictional character Rijuda and his side-kick Rudra. Most of the works of Guha were dominated by the theme of nature and forest.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar expressed condolences on the demise of Guha.
“Saddened at passing of eminent Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha, author of many notable works such as ‘Madhukari’ (Honey Gatherer). His works of fiction reflected his closeness to nature and forests of eastern India. Pray Almighty to bestow eternal peace on the departed soul,” tweeted Rajbhavan.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also expressed her condolences.
“I am deeply saddened by the demise of the eminent writer Buddhadev Guha. He passed away in Kolkata last night. He was 85 years old. Buddhadev Guha, the prominent author of Bengali literature, had written notable books including Koel, Kojagar, Madhukari, Jangalmahal, Charibeti etc. He is also the creator of two popular fictional characters in Bengali literature – Rivu and Rijuda,” the chief minister’s condolence message stated.

WB post-poll violence: CBI registers 28 cases so far

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], August 29 : Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday registered seven more FIRs in the West Bengal post-poll violence cases taking the total number of FIRs to 28.
CBI on Saturday detained two people from Nadia district in relation to post-poll violence. Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that in the ongoing CBI probe into post-poll violence, BJP workers are accompanying CBI officials to villages.
“In post-poll violence, five BJP workers and 16 TMC workers had died. We have no problem with CBI, but why are they taking BJP leaders with them to villages? National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and all other commissions have become political, all their members are from BJP,” she said.
Earlier this month, Calcutta High Court ordered a court-monitored CBI probe into the incidents of post-poll violence in the state.
The High Court also ordered to set up Special Investigation Teams (SIT) for investigation and senior officers from West Bengal cadre will be a part of the team.
The court also directed the state government to take immediate steps for compensation for the victims of post-poll violence.
Several incidents of violence have been reported at various places after the announcement of the Assembly poll results on May 2, after which a four-member team deputed by the Ministry of Home Affairs also visited the post-poll violence-affected areas.

BJP cannot fight politically, using CBI, ED against us, says Mamata Banerjee

Kalighat (West Bengal) [India], August 28: The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre can’t fight us politically, so it is using central agencies like ED and CBI against the TMC, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said after Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoned his nephew and TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee along with his wife in coal scam case on Saturday.

“Our priority is to work for the people. When the BJP government in Delhi cannot compete with us in politics, they use central agencies… Few people had left us but now they have returned because they know that their home is here i.e. TMC,” she said while addressing a gathering during the celebration of TMC Chhatra Parishad’s foundation day in West Bengal’s Kalighat today.
ED has summoned All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee on September 3 and his wife Rujira Banerjee on September 1, along with others with their bank details in connection with the coal scam.

Mamata Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress chief, also pointed out that coal comes under the purview of the Centre.

“Coal is the responsibility of Central government. Why are you only blaming the state. Even I know various names of leaders who had come to Bengal and stayed in coal mafia house. Should I bring out the list Mr Amit Shah?” she said.

The Chief Minister claimed, “I don’t do such politics. When you cannot fight politically you show ED, CBI to us.”

This comes days after a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal was ordered by Calcutta High Court.

The TMC chief further alleged that in the ongoing CBI probe into post-poll violence, BJP workers are accompanying CBI officials to villages.

“In post-poll violence, five BJP workers and 16 TMC workers had died. We have no problem with CBI, but why are they taking BJP leaders with them to villages? National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and all other commissions have become political, all their members are from BJP,” she said.

Calling it “vindictive politics”, she stepped up the counter-attack, “Remember, we have not forgotten Gujarat. I have never seen such vindictive politics,” pointing towards the 2002 Gujarat riots.

During her address, she also said that she wanted Bengal students to “show the path.”

“Why do we say Jai Hind, Vande Mataram and Khela Hobe? We believe students are the ones who are the future. I want them to become the new equation of politics,” said TMC chief urging the youth to enter politics.

Calling the BJP government “inhuman” she alleged that the party is suppressing the voices of people.

“BJP is suppressing the voices of students, teachers, government employees and on social media. I want students of West Bengal to lead the path. BJP government is inhuman. This government does not love people and is selling the country,” she said. (ANI)

Five additional judges for Calcutta High Court

The Union Ministry of Law and Justice on Thursday appointed five persons as additional judges of the Calcutta High Court.

New Delhi [India], August 26 : “In exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 224 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint (1) Kesang Doma Bhutia, (2) Rabindranath Samanta, (3) Sugato Majumdar, (4) Bivas Pattanayak and (5) Ananda Kumar Mukherjee to be Additional Judges of the Calcutta High Court, in that order of seniority,” reads the notification of the Ministry of Law and Justice. According to the Ministry, the appointment of Sugato Majumdar and Bivas Pattanayak as Additional Judges of Calcutta High Court would be for a period of two years with effect from the date they assume charge of their respective offices.
Meanwhile, the period of appointment of Kesang Doma Bhutia, Rabindranath Samanta and Ananda Kumar Mukherjee as Additional Judges of Calcutta High Court would be till May 4 2022, June 23, 2023 and August 4, 2022, respectively with effect from the date they assume charge of their offices.

TMC MP Nusrat Jahan blessed with a baby boy

The Trinamool Congress MP was admitted to Neotia Hospital in Kolkata on Wednesday, August 25.

Kolkata, west Bengal, India August 26: Bengali actress-turned-Trinamool Congress MP Nusrat Jahan has been blessed with a baby boy. Nusrat was admitted to Neotia Hospital in Kolkata last night (August 25). Bengali actor Yash Dasgupta drove Nusrat to the hospital.

Jahan delivered baby at around 1 pm. As per TOI sources, she underwent a C-section under Dr Rajiv Agarwaal and a team of doctors. According to the latest update, the mother and the newborn are doing well.

Nusrat’s mother was spotted near the operation theatre. According to TOI reports, “Nusrat’s rumoured partner, Yash, was by her side throughout.”

Nusrat requested the hospital for Yash to be present by her side during the operation, as per TOI sources.

“While any announcements will be made as per the family’s consent, we took care of her comfort and all the medical needs,” a hospital official told TOI.

Actor-turned-politician TMC MP Mimi Chakraborty took to Twitter to congratulate Nusrat.

Bengal post-poll violence: CBI registers 9 cases

According to sources, the central agency has moved its team from Kolkata to place where violence took place following May 2 announcement of Assembly election results across the state, sources said.

Kolkata, West Bengal, India, August 26 : Acting on the Calcutta High Court’s orders, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday began probe into post-poll violence in West Bengal and registered nine cases.

According to sources, the central agency has moved its team from Kolkata to a place where the violence took place following May 2 announcement of Assembly election results across the state, sources said.

The Calcutta High Court had earlier this month directed a court-monitored CBI probe into the incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal. The high court also directed the state government to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the cases related to violence.

The high court observed that the West Bengal Government’s argument that the Election Commission was responsible for the violence as police were under it due to enforcement of election code till May 3, 2021 “deserves to be rejected outrightly”.

“Civil or police administration is under the control of the Election Commission during election process only to ensure free & fair elections. That does not mean that the police stop discharging its normal duties to control law and order,” the high court said in its verdict.

Central delegation to meet top WB officials

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: A Central government delegation will meet top officials of the West Bengal government on Thursday to discuss the implementation and progress of rural development and Panchayati Raj projects of the Centre.
The Central delegation reached Kolkata on Wednesday. The members of the delegation will oversee the progress of all the projects of the Centre, primarily related to the rural development and panchayat services in the state. They will hold meetings West Bengal Chief Secretary, Finance Secretary and Panchayat Secretary.
On Wednesday, the delegation members visited several places in the state to assess the implementation of the projects on the ground.
The BJP-led Centre and TMC government in West Bengal are at loggerheads, especially after the 2021 Assembly polls. Therefore, the visit of the Central delegation carries much significance.

“Won’t let Maharashtra become West Bengal”

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Union Minister Narayan Rane on Wednesday asserted that he is not afraid of anyone, and thanked BJP leaders for standing behind him after his arrest for alleged “derogatory remarks” against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Addressing media after getting bail from the local court in Mahad of Raigarh district, Rane said he will resume his Jan Ashirwad Yatra from Friday. “I am not afraid of you (Shiv Sena). My party leaders have stood behind me and I want to thank them all. The Jan Ashirwad Yatra will resume from the day after tomorrow,” said Rane.
The Union Minister added that he would not “allow” the West Bengal-like environment to be created in Maharashtra.
Attacking Shiv Sena for its complaint against him, Rane reminded the party to “not forget” that he had a “big role in spreading Shiv Sena and making it big”.
“The verdict in all cases (by Shiv Sena) filed against me in Bombay High Court has come in my favour. This is an indication that the country is run by laws,” said the Union Minister.
Speaking about his “slap” remark against Maharashtra Chief Minister, Rane further asserted that he has “not said anything wrong”. “But, if Devendra Fadvanis says it is wrong, then I will accept it, as he is our ‘margdarshak’ (guide),” Rane said.
Rane also slammed Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. “There were many incidents in the past where Maharashtra Chief Minister has given controversial statements against the BJP leaders like MLC Prasad Lad, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and even against Amit Shah. The language used by Chief Minister was not in right but nothing happens to him,” Rane said.
Rane, who was arrested on Tuesday evening was granted bail a few hours later by the local court in Mahad of Raigarh district earlier today.
The Union Minister was arrested in Ratnagiri district after several FIRs were registered against him at many places including Nashik and Pune, based on the complaints filed by Shiv Sena leaders for his remarks against Thackeray.
Rane on Monday accused Thackeray of ignorance about the year of India’s independence at an event and said “I would have given (him) a tight slap.”

West Bengal women tie rakhi to Afghan nationals

North 24 Parganas (West Bengal) [India], August 22 : Trinamool Congress organised a Rakshabandhan event in the Dum Dum area of North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Sunday. During the event, women tied rakhis to Afghan nationals and others living in the area.
The rakhis, called the Rakhi of harmony, had a white pigeon with the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ meaning ‘the world is one family’ on the map of the world.
Meanwhile, other rakhis had the face of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with the slogan ‘Delhi Chalo’ under it.

Arshad Ahmed Danish, an Afghan national said, “The occasion is a very auspicious one, and with all that is going on in Afghanistan presently, this program essentially sends a message of peace and harmony.”
“The sisters here tied rakhi to the Afghans here, showing the strong bond that we share with them. To strengthen the bond between the two communities, several efforts are made from both sides,” he added.
Talking about the present situation in Afghanistan, Arshad said, “The humanitarian crisis happening in Afghanistan is not acceptable in today’s civil world.”
Yasmin Nigar Khan President, All India Pakhtoon Jirga-e-Hind said, “We felt really nice to see the kind of love the Indians have showered on us, especially on this occasion. It feels like Afghanistan and India share a bond of sister and a brother. India has always helped Afghanistan in times of need, for which we are very thankful.”
Following the tying of rakhis, a cultural program was also held.

Survey on plight of sex workers

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a reminder to the West Bengal’s Secretary of Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare to expedite the work of conducting a survey along with Indian Institute of Science over the conditions of victims of Sonagachi from social, legal and health point of view and submit the report within 10 weeks.

New Delhi [India], August 21 : Adjudicating a petition filed by noted civil liberties activist, human rights lawyer and Supreme Court advocate, Radhakanta Tripathy, the NHRC passed the order. The petitioner, Tripathy, alleged that victim women are suffering from rape or sexual abuse and human trafficking at Kolkata’s Sonagachi due to the alleged inaction and negligence of state mechanism. He narrated the ordeal of the area and the plight of the sex workers from health, family, social and psychological and legal points of view.
Requesting the NHRC to address the issue of human rights of residents, victims of the largest red-light area of Asia, Tripathy sought for a comprehensive report with recommendations for the state and central government to follow in a time-bound manner.
The Secretary Department of Women and Child Development of the West Bengal government, in its detailed report, had informed the Commission about the steps taken to deal with the issue of human trafficking. In response, Tripathy requested to investigate the case by special monitor NHRC dealing with women trafficking.
The NHRC had transmitted the comments of Tripathy to West Bengal’s Chief Secretary to submit the report about the policy framed to check or prevent such type of sex-trade and brothel in Sonagachchi and compliance of Supreme Court directions in the matter of Budhdev Karmaskar against West Bengal, within six weeks.
The NHRC also directed the Principal Secretary of West Bengal’s Department of Women and Child Development, Union Health Ministry and West Bengal’s Chief Secretary to conduct a survey along with the Indian Institute of Science over the conditions of victims of Sonagachi from social, legal and health point of view and submit the report.
In response, the Under Secretary of the Union Health Ministry, in its report has informed the Commission that they have prepared the detailed guidelines and protocols on medico-legal care for survivors and victims of sexual violence. In this regard, various reminders have also been sent to states and UTs for implementation of the same. Regular follow up and meetings were also conducted in this regard. However, no report has been received from state authorities concerned.
Tripathy who also filed the case, pertaining to the plight of sex workers across India, during the COVID pandemic, stated that the approach of the governments is below expectation and lacks political will also.
The West Bengal authorities and government said that the Kolkata Police has taken various steps to prevent the sex trade in the Sonagachi area. The surveillance is maintained and specific intelligence is collected in collaboration with NGOs working in this field.
“In last five years in Sonagachi, 19 cases relating to human trafficking were recorded, 51 accused were arrested and 58 victims were rescued. Anti Human Traffic Unit, a specialized section has been established in the Detective Department of the Kolkata police. In Kolkata during the last five years, AHTU DD has recorded a total of 94 cases under the IT(P) Act and a total of 752 accused persons have been arrested and 146 victim girls have been rescued,” the WB government said.
“The main objective of the government scheme was to provide the opportunity for a dignified life by providing alternative career opportunities for sex workers and victims of sex trafficking. It was further informed to the Commission that matter is being actively pursued with the Indian Institute of Science regarding conducting the survey along with Indian Institute of Science over the condition of the victims of Sonagachhi,” it added. (

‘HC does not trust Mamata’

Reacting to the order issued by the Calcutta High Court over the post-poll violence in the state, the President of the West Bengal unit of BJP Dilip Ghosh said the High Court’s order proved that it does not trust the Trinamool Congress (TMC)-led West Bengal Government over the state issues.

Siliguri (West Bengal) [India], August 21 : Dilip Ghosh said, “The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) comes into the picture when government fails to investigate a matter. The order issued by the Calcutta High Court to conduct a court-monitored CBI probe into the post-poll violence matter proved that the court does not trust the TMC-led West Bengal government over the state issues.” The Calcutta High Court on Thursday ordered a court-monitored CBI probe into the incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal and stated that Constitutional obligations of the state do not get vested in the Election Commission during the process of elections.
The High Court observed that arguments run contrary to the stand of the state where it claimed that number of FIRs were registered up to May 3 for post-poll violence and otherwise also for normal crime in the state, the police were duty-bound to maintain law and order and register FIRs and not the Election Commission.
The BJP leader also took a jibe at the Opposition parties over their virtual meeting called by Congress’ interim President Sonia Gandhi, he said: “The leaders do not have any work to do. It is good that they are spending time with each other over tea.”
In a virtual meeting of Opposition parties convened by Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Friday, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee floated the idea of forming a core group to formulate strategies to counter Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2024 Lok Sabha elections and to further strengthen Opposition unity, informed Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) Chief Sharad Yadav.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and leaders of 18 other political parties had launched a strong attack on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government accusing it of “destruction of the economy” and demanded Supreme Court-monitored judicial probe into the use of Pegasus Spyware, speeding up of COVID-19 vaccination, free cash transfers of Rs 7,500 per month to all families outside the income tax bracket, repeal of three farm laws and compulsory guarantee of minimum support price to farmers.

SC issues notice to WB Govt.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the West Bengal government on a plea seeking to quash notification for constituting an Inquiry Commission headed by a former SC judge to investigate allegations relating to Pegasus Spyware snooping case.

New Delhi [India], August 18 : The Centre government has proposed Justice Madan B Lokur, former SC judge to head the Inquiry Commission. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, however, refused to stay the proceedings of the committee.
The Bench said the plea will be heard along with other pending petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the reports of the government allegedly using Israeli software Pegasus to spy on politicians, activists, court staff and journalists.
“We will hear this along with other similar matters. Issue notice. List on August 25,” the Bench said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre said he wants to assist the Court on the issue and said the state government’s step to constitute such a committee is unconstitutional.
The PIL filed by Global Village Foundation Public Charitable Trust sought direction to disband the two-member Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired apex court judge, Justice Madan B Lokur and also comprising former Acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, Justice (retired) Jyotirmay Bhattacharya by the state government to probe the allegations of snooping by Pegasus software developed by Israeli spyware firm NSO.
Advocate Saurabh Mishra appearing for the petitioner requested the Bench to stay the proceedings stating that proceedings before the committee should not go on when the issue is being examined at a pan-India level.
The apex court refusing to stay the proceedings said the committee is only taking preliminary steps.
Yesterday, the apex court had issued notice to the government and asked it to respond on a batch of petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the reports of the government allegedly using Israeli software Pegasus to spy on politicians, activists, and journalists.
The Centre has apprised the top court that it has decided to constitute a Committee of Experts, which will examine all the issues relating to the alleged Pegasus snooping issue.
The Centre also denied all the allegations of snooping on journalists, politicians, activists and court staff and maintained the petitions are based on conjectures and there is no substance in the accusations.
The top court had earlier observed that the allegations about the Central government allegedly using Israeli software Pegasus to spy on people “are serious if news reports are correct”.
As many as 11 pleas were filed before the SC by senior journalists N Ram, and Sashi Kumar, Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas of Communist Marxist Party of India (Marxist) and advocate ML Sharma, former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, RSS ideologue KN Govindacharya.
Journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, SNM Abdi, Prem Shankar Jha, Rupesh Kumar Singh and Ipsa Shatakshi, who are reported to be on the potential list of snoop targets of Pegasus spyware, had also approached the top court along with The Editors Guild of India (EGI) among others.
The pleas sought inquiry headed by a sitting or retired judge of the top court to investigate the alleged snooping.

30 BJP workers held

West Bengal Police on Tuesday arrested at least 30 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers including Siliguri MLA Sankar Ghosh in front of their party office ahead of their ‘Yuva Sankalp Yatra’.

Siliguri (West Bengal) [India], August 17 : The police said that they did not seek permission to embark on this rally. “They have been arrested because they did not seek permission for the Yuva Sankalp rally,” said Joy Tudu, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Siliguri Metropolitan Police.

Soon after the arrest, clashes erupted between the workers and police.
In another incident, police arrested 35 Narayani Sena workers from Bagdogra airport while they were assembled at the airport to receive John Barla, BJP MP from Alipurduar and Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
Speaking to ANI, Raju Bista, BJP MP from Darjeeling and National Yuva Morcha General Secretary said, “BJP’s Yuva Morcha workers were embarking on the yatra to mark 75 years of India’s Independence. A total of 75 Yuva Morcha leaders were to commence the 75 km rally in 75 places to pay respect to the country and its people.”
He further said that the police is trying to stop the yatra. “This clearly shows that West Bengal government and state police is anti-national. It is a worrisome situation for the state and the country,” Bista added.

The BJP MP termed the day as “shameful.”
According to him, earlier several TMC leaders had conducted a programme of “Khela Hobe” without the intimation of the state police, which was not interrupted.
“At least a 1000 people of TMC had gathered without people’s permission and intimation to conduct a programme of Khela Hobe. But at the same time, when BJP workers and its leader wish to carry out a programme for paying respect to the country, permission is not given and people are arrested by the people,” said the BJP MP.

WB: Bomb found outside NJP railway station

Jalpaiguri (West Bengal) [India]: Suspected country-made bomb found at the entry point of New Jalpaiguri Railway Station in West Bengal on Sunday.
The bomb disposal squad was called after the information was received. The bomb has been diffused. “The bomb disposal squad has defused the bomb. It is being ascertained whether it is a country-made bomb or not. People do not need to panic. The security arrangement was tight so that they cannot enter. However, the security has been further beefed up. It may be done with the aim to create panic,” AG Faruk, Assistant Security Commissioner, Railway Police Force, New Jalpaiguri Station told reporters.
The investigation is underway.

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