After the humiliating loss in the West Bengal Assembly election from the Nandigram seat against Suvendu Adhikari, Mamata Banerjee is planning a backdoor entry. The West Bengal government has moved a bill for the formation of a legislative council in the state, which, like Rajya Sabha and other legislative councils (in states like UP, Maharashtra, Bihar) will have nominated members.
At a time when the states like Andhra Pradesh are planning to scrap legislative councils in order to curb public expenditure, Mamata Banerjee has proposed to have a new one in order to ensure that she and her lackeys get nominated.
However, Mamata Banerjee’s plan to get nominated through the legislative council is set to fail because the bill, after being passed from the West Bengal assembly, needs to get passed in the parliament and get President’s approval. Given the domination of BJP in both of these institutions, it is very unlikely that this bill would take the form of an act.
BJP leaders already came down very heavily on Mamata Banerjee for seeking backdoor entry. “The government has no confidence, hence they want to bring Legislative Council. She wants to bring her rejected leaders to the Vidhan Sabha. Mamata Banerjee had also lost but she is still a CM. She thinks that if the elections don’t take place then she would have to resign. This is just an attempt to gain power. She is using Legislative Council as a tool to gain power back,” said West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh.
Leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari also criticized the move. “There is no logic behind forming a Legislative Council. There is no legal status in the Legislative Council. People are jobless now especially due to the pandemic, instead of attending them the TMC is spending money for forming the council. Just because the TMC wants to bring the defeated candidate TMC wants to form the Upper House,” he said.
Mamata Banerjee would have to leave the CM post unless she wins the legislative assembly election from another constituency within 6 months or enters through the legislative council. Given the Coronavirus situation, it is very unlikely that the election commission would call for another election even if Mamata Banerjee convinces one of her lackeys to vacate the seat for her. And the path for having a legislative council goes through parliament and president, so it is very unlikely that she will get a free pass.
TMC is pushing hard for by-elections as the Coronavirus situation in the country is “under control” and asked the Election Commission to conduct bypolls within 7 days. Also, she has challenged the results of the Nandigram constituency, where she lost against Suvendu Adhikari, in the Supreme Court of India.
So, Mamata Banerjee has opened as many fronts as possible to ensure that she is not forced to resign from the CM post after 6 months, but it seems very unlikely that she will succeed. Given the fact BJP is in no mood to cooperate after the brutal killing of party workers by TMC goons, Mamata Banerjee’s path looks very difficult.