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Temperature Rising As EC Yet To Decide On West Bengal Bypolls

With the Calcutta High Court ordering CBI probe into West Bengal Post Poll violence and directing the Mamata government to immediately process the compensation for the victims, the political uncertainty has deepened in the state. Add to this the fear of the Third Wave of pandemic hitting the country during Durga Puja; and importantly, the need to hold bypolls in seven assembly seats before November 5 or else, technically, Didi may have to step down, if not re-elected within six months. The Election Commission (EC), looking at the ground situation in terms of pandemic and post-poll violence, is yet to announce the date. After announcing the poll dates, the EC takes at least 24 days before voting can take place. The EC has been accused of delaying the election at the behest of the Centre. But, those accusing the EC of bias, may note that in Uttarakhand, a BJP ruled state, Tirath Singh Rawat who took over as the Chief Minister on March 10, 2021 had to step down on July 2 as the EC was not ready to hold bypolls before his six-month period to get re-elected was coming to end on September 10. It may be recalled that even though her party TMC won the Assembly elections with thumping majority, she lost her seat from Nandigram to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari, her one time confidant.