In West Bengal's Tamluk, BJP fields ex-Calcutta HC judge against Trinamool's ‘Khela Hobe’ creator | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

In West Bengal's Tamluk, BJP fields ex-Calcutta HC judge against Trinamool's ‘Khela Hobe’ creator

By, New Delhi
Mar 25, 2024 12:35 PM IST

Justice (retired) Abhijit Gangopadhyay will take on 27-year-old Debangshu Bhattacharya.

BJP's fifth list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, released on Sunday with names for 111 seats, showed that Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who resigned from Calcutta high court earlier this month and joined the saffron party, will contest from the Tamluk parliamentary seat in West Bengal's Purba Medinipur district.

Justice (retired) Abhijit Gangopadhyay (left) and Debangshu Bhattacharya
Justice (retired) Abhijit Gangopadhyay (left) and Debangshu Bhattacharya

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Pitted against him is Debangshu Bhattacharya, 27, who heads the social media cell of the state's ruling Trinamool Congress. On March 10, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced names for all 42 seats of the state in one go.

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How did the contest come about?

Justice (retired) Abhijit Gangopadhyay made headlines in 2021, when as a sitting judge of the Calcutta high court, he made strong observations in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teachers by the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC), and directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the case.

Being a central agency, the CBI reports to the Union government, where the BJP is in power. And with the party trying to make inroads into the state, it was alleged that there were ‘political motives’ behind his rulings. Quitting judiciary for politics and joining the BJP only strengthened such allegations.

Lashing out at the former judge, Mamata Banerjee accused him of becoming a leader ‘after denying jobs to thousands of students’ and vowed to defeat the ‘BJP babu who was sitting on the bench’ if he contested the election.

“Be ready. Wherever you contest from, I will send students to fight you,” she had said.

Anticipating Gangopadhyay's nomination from Tamluk as media reports regarding this were doing the rounds, the Trinamool fielded Bhattacharya to take on the ex-judge.

Bhattacharya was active in student politics as a member of the Trinamool Chattra Parishad, the party's student wing, and has been handling the party's social media presence since 2022. He is also credited with writing the successful 'Khela Hobe' campaign song in the run-up to the 2021 assembly polls.

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