WB: BJP's Rekha Patra appeals to EC for disqualification of TMC candidate in Basirhat

Basirhat will go to the polls in the last phase on June 1

BJP candidate from Basirhat constituency Rekha Patra| Salil Bera BJP candidate from Basirhat constituency Rekha Patra| Salil Bera

Rekha Patra, the BJP candidate in West Bengal’s Basirhat, demanded the disqualification of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate in Basirhat, Haji Nurul Islam, on Wednesday. At a press conference in Kolkata, the saffron party claimed that he did not submit his ‘No Due Certificate’ while filing his nomination.  

A candidate who has been in occupation of accommodation provided by the Government, at any time during the last 10 years, has to give details of the government dues accrued to him on the date of notification of the election. The candidate needs to inform that he has cleared all dues for the government services he received. 

Under section 33A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, along with an affidavit in Form 26, the candidate has to submit the ‘No Dues Certificate’ by 3 pm on the last date of making nominations in the constituency they plan to contest.  

Jagannath Chattopadhyay, one of the general secretaries of West Bengal BJP, said, “Haji Nurul Islam was an MP in the 15thLok Sabha which ended on May 18, 2014. He filed his nomination [for the ongoing General Elections] on May 7, 2024, that is 12 days prior to the conclusion of the 10-year period from his final day as an MP.”

“But Haji Nurul has not submitted his ‘No Dues Certificate’. That’s why our candidate [in Basirhat] Rekha Patra has appealed to the Election Commission to cancel Haji Nurul Islam’s candidacy,” he added. 

Basirhat will go to the polls in the last phase on June 1. The last day to file nominations for the final phase of elections was Tuesday. 

Earlier, former IPS officer and the BJP’s initial candidate in Birbhum, Debashish Dhar, was also disqualified after he failed to provide the certificate. Debtanu Bhattacharya was fielded as the party’s alternative candidate in Birbhum. Citing Dhar’s example, the BJP said Islam’s candidacy should also be scrapped. 

Chattopadhyay said, “We will fight till the end. If necessary, we will go to the High Court and Supreme Court.”

The BJP also demanded the disqualification of TMC’s Kolkata South candidate Mala Roy. The BJP spokesperson said that Roy is Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s Chairperson which is considered an ‘Office of Profit’. Before filing her nomination for the Lok Sabha polls, she was required to resign from her corporation post which she failed to do, said Chattopadhyay. 

Meanwhile, BJP’s Basirhat candidate approached the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday. She sought the number of cases that have been registered against her name. Patra requested the court that no strict action be taken against her by the police. 

“Protesters in Sandeshkhali [part of Basirhat constituency] are being arrested by the police by branding them as BJP workers. I was there since the beginning of this movement. There was no political colour to it,” said Patra. 

“But since I have been made the BJP candidate, the police are asking protesters if they do BJP. Can the police even talk like that?”

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