Mixed bag for BJP at the end of politically eventful day in Bengal

Kolkata, May 17 (IANS): Friday turned out to be a politically eventful day in West Bengal which brought both relief and anxiety for the state unit of the BJP.

The relief came after the Calcutta High Court ordered the immediate release of a woman BJP leader from Sandeshkhali, Mampi Das, who was arrested after a sting operation video went viral in which a local BJP leader was heard saying that the women’s protest there was plotted and orchestrated by the BJP in which Das played a key role.

The order came as a political reprieve for the BJP as the single-judge bench of Justice Jay Sengupta raised questions over the justification behind Das' arrest, and the justification of implicating her in a non-bailable section of the Indian Penal Code.

The state BJP is terming the order as an endorsement of the party’s claims that the viral video and the subsequent arrest of Das were nothing but conspiracies plotted by the Trinamool Congress and the state police.

However, the BJP also received a jolt on Friday after the Election Commission of India issued a show-cause notice to the former judge of the Calcutta High Court, Abhijit Gangopadhyay, over the latter’s derogatory remarks against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The notice came after the Trinamool Congress filed a complaint with the poll panel against Gangopadhyay, who has been fielded by the BJP from the Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency in East Medinipur district.

The remarks by Gangopadhyay were made at a public meeting in Haldia district on Wednesday. They went public after a purported video emerged online a day later in which Gangopadhyay could be heard wondering about the "amount at which CM Banerjee was getting sold".

While Gangopadhyay has been asked to file a reply by 5 p.m. on May 20, there is anxiety in the BJP camp whether the reply will satisfy the poll panel.

If the Election Commission bars Gangopadhyay from addressing public meetings, holding roadshows, or giving interviews to the media, as demanded by the Trinamool, it will be a major embarrassment for Gangopadhyay before Tamluk goes to the polls in the sixth phase on May 25.



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Title: Mixed bag for BJP at the end of politically eventful day in Bengal

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