BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s petition against his election from Nandigram constituency outside the state.
Adhikari, a former close aide of Banerjee but having joined the BJP in 2020, is currently the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly. He had defeated Banerjee in a closely contested election by a margin of 1,956 votes. Banerjee had moved an election petition in the high court challenging Adhikar’s election victory.
According to a source familiar with the development, Adhikari sought transfer of the petition filed by Banerjee, which is pending in the Calcutta High Court, outside the state. Justice Shampa Sarkar is currently hearing the election petition of the Chief Minister. The high court has issued notice to Adhikari in the matter and asked him to preserve the documents connected with the election during the pendency of the petition.
On July 7, Justice Kausik Chanda of the high court had recused himself from hearing Banerjee’s petition against Adhikari’s win from Nandigram. Taking exception to the manner in which his recusal was sought, Justice Chanda had imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh on Banerjee.
Seeking Justice Chanda’s recusal, it was claimed that he was an active member of the BJP till his appointment as the Additional Solicitor General of India in 2015. Apprehensions of bias were cited in the adjudication of the election petition. Justice Chanda had said he was never a convenor of the BJP Legal Cell but appeared in many cases representing the party before the Calcutta High Court.