Congress demands withdrawal of Abhijit Gangopadhyay’s candidature. Here is why


The Congress party came down heavily on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Abhijit Gangopadhyay over his reported remarks that he “cannot choose between Gandhi and Godse.” The party demanded that former Calcutta High Court judge Gangopadhyay’s candidature for the Lok Sabha polls 2024 be withdrawn.

Gangopadhyay joined the BJP recently and is contesting against Trinamool Congress leader Debangshu Bhattacharya in West Bengal’s Tamluk constituency. He was among 19 candidates announced by the BJP in the fifth list of candidates last week for the upcoming Lok Sabha 2024 polls in West Bengal.

“It is worse than pathetic that a judge of the Calcutta High Court, who resigned to contest the Lok Sabha polls as a BJP candidate blessed by none other than the Prime Minister, now says that he cannot choose between Gandhi and Godse,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Also Read: Abhijit Gangopadhyay to join BJP. A look at the former Calcutta High Court judge’s controversies

“This is totally unacceptable, and his candidature should be withdrawn forthwith by those who spare no effort to appropriate the Mahatma’s legacy,” Ramesh said, adding, “What will the Father of the Do-nation do to protect the Father of the Nation?”

On January 30, 1948, Godse shot Mahatma Gandhi in the chest three times at point-blank range at a multi-faith prayer meeting in Birla House in New Delhi. 

Gangopadhyay was heard saying to a TV channel that he “cannot choose between (Mahatma) Gandhi and (Naturam) Godse.” Speaking in Bengali, the BJP leader said that he was compelled to delve into the reasoning behind Godse’s actions.

“As someone from the legal profession, I must try and understand the other side of the story. I must read his (Nathuram Godse) writings and understand what triggered him to kill Mahatma Gandhi. Until then, I cannot choose between Gandhi and Godse,” Gangopadhyay was quoted as saying.

While Gangopadhyay condemned Mahatma Gandhi’s murder, he underscored the “necessity of examining all facets of historical events”.

Earlier, West Bengal Minister Firhad Hakim said that questions can be raised about the judgements delivered by those judges who decide to leave the judiciary and enter politics. Hakim was responding to Gangopadhyay’s candidature by the BJP.

“For us, the judiciary is like a god, and if someone from it enters politics, it raises questions about the previous judgements they have made. We want a judge to be impartial, a judge who thinks for society and delivers a judgement without any bias,” Firhad Hakim told the news agency ANI.

Also Read: ED raids, Electoral Bonds and Jairam Ramesh’s ‘washing machine’ salvo at ex- Congress MP Naveen Jindal’s BJP ticket

Gangopadhyay, who was scheduled to retire in August 2024, created history by becoming the first High Court judge in recent memory to resign and join a political party.

West Bengal will cast its ballots in seven phases for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections starting April 19.

Last year, Gangopadhyay was pulled by the Supreme Court for giving an interview on a scam while hearing the case related to it. He had given an interview to a local Bengali news channel and talked about the role of TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee while dealing with a batch of petitions regarding the school jobs for cash scam.

(With inputs from PTI) 

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Published: 26 Mar 2024, 06:44 AM IST


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