Kolkata: The opposition Congress leadership in West Bengal is miffed over party spokesperson and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing in the Supreme Court to defend the state government.
Singhvi appeared on Friday in a petition filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeking judicial intervention to prevent rigging of upcoming panchayat elections in the state.
Even as Singhvi defended the Trinamool Congress government in the apex court, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Congress’s president in West Bengal, was taking on the state administration in the Calcutta high court with a similar petition. Chowdhury said he hadn’t expected Singhvi to appear for the West Bengal government, at least in this matter.
The Supreme Court has reserved its verdict till Monday. The BJP in its application alleged that rampant violence orchestrated by the Trinamool Congress and backed by the local administration was stopping people from filing nominations. It asked for deployment of central forces during polling in early May.
Though Singhvi has clarified he wasn’t aware that the Congress had moved a similar petition in the Calcutta high court, and that he came to know about it only after he had started to argue, top leaders within the party said it shows the Congress high command has given up on leaders in West Bengal.
The Congress recently cut a deal with the Trinamool Congress to get Singhvi elected to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal even after Chowdhury had announced that the Congress was keen to field a consensus candidate jointly with the Left parties.
On being asked if he would continue to defend the West Bengal government in the Supreme Court in matters related to the panchayat election, Singhvi said all submissions have been made on Friday. “There is nothing more in that case," he said.