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EC announces crucial bypoll for Mamata on Sep 30

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Kolkata, Sep 4: After much speculation, the Election Commission of India announced the date for the bye-elections in Bhabanipur and elections in two other assembly constituencies – Samsergunj and Jangipur in Murshidabad district on Saturday. The elections in these three constituencies will be held on September 30 and counting will be held on October 3.

The elections in Samsergunj and Jangipur were withheld because of the death of the candidates before polls during the recently concluded assembly election in West Bengal. On the other hand, a bye-election in Bhabanipur assembly constituency is scheduled because the existing MLA Sovondeb Chattopadhyay resigned to make room for chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Banerjee lost to the Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhiakri in Nandigram in the recently concluded polls and is still not an elected member of the legislative body.

The commission in its notification quoting chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi said, “under Article 164(4) of the Constitution of India, a Minister who is not a member of the Legislature of the State for a period of six consecutive months shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister and there will be a constitutional crisis and vacuum in the top executive posts in the Government unless elections are held immediately”.

“He has also informed that in view of administrative exigencies and public interest and to avoid vacuum in the state, bye-elections for Bhabanipur, Kolkata from where Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister intends to contest elections may be conducted,” the notification said.

“Taking into consideration the inputs and views of the Chief Secretaries of the concerned States and respective Chief Electoral Officers, while the Commission has decided not to hold bye-elections in other 31 Assembly constituencies and 3 Parliamentary Constituencies and considering the exigency and special request from the State of West Bengal, it has decided to hold bye-election in 159- Bhabanipur AC,” the notification said.

“Further, the Commission has also decided to hold polls in 3 Assembly constituencies namely 56-Samserganj, 58- Jangipur of West Bengal and 1 Assembly Constituency 110-Pipli of Odisha where the adjourned poll was deferred,” the notification said.

The election in these two constituencies of West Bengal was deferred because of the death of the candidates before the election. The commission has allowed a campaign time of seven days from September 20.

However, there are four more assembly constituencies – Khardah in North 24 Parganas, South Dinhata in Cooch Behar, Santipur in Nadia and Gosaba in South 24 Parganas where bye-election is scheduled but the election commission has kept the elections on hold considering the Covid pandemic situation.

The Trinamool Congress has been pressing for the election for quite a long time and recently a five-member delegation of Trinamool MPs including Sougata Roy, Jwahar Sircar, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy Sajda Ahmed and Mohua Moitra met the election commissioner and demanded for the polls. The announcement is a huge relief for the party.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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