Kolkata, Oct 25: BJP West Bengal unit president Sukanta Majumdar on Monday alleged that the North 24 Parganas district administration at the behest of the ruling TMC was hindering the saffron party’s door-to-door campaign in Khardah assembly seat, where by-election will be held on October 30. The police raised objections to the campaign in view of the COVID-19 situation, he claimed. “Objections were raised by the police twice as we were campaigning door to door in Khardah Bazar and Station Road areas of the constituency though there were only five persons in our group. We cannot take the responsibility of people who assembled there to support our candidate Joy Saha,” he told PTI.
Majumdar along with the party nominee continued the campaign as the police asked others not to assemble there. The Balurghat MP said he saw “a groundswell of support from people who have been terrorised by the Trinamool Congress”.
“We found that many shops were closed in the area and later came to know that traders were threatened not to open their outlets by TMC activists during our visit to the locality. This is the situation in West Bengal. We tried to reach out to the people,” he said. Saha is pitted against West Bengal agriculture minister and veteran TMC leader Sovandeb Chattopadhyay in Khardah, a seat won by state finance minister Amit Mitra twice in 2011 and 2016. Khardah had also elected TMC’s Kajal Sinha in the assembly elections earlier this year. Sinha died due to COVID-19 before the results were declared, necessitating the bypoll. State minister and senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim denied Majumdar’s allegation and said “the BJP’s state president know that they will lose the elections”.
“No one is with the BJP. Our candidate will win with a massive margin,” he told reporters. Shortly after the assembly poll results were announced in May, Chattopadhyay, who won from Bhabanipur, vacated the seat to facilitate Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s return to the assembly from there. Banerjee lost to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram during the April-May assembly polls.
Bypolls will also be held in Gosaba, Dinhata and Shantipur assembly constituencies on October 30.
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