The BJP MLAs on Monday elected Suvendu Adhikari the Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, said Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at a meeting of the legislators.
Mr. Prasad said Mr. Adhkari was elected unopposed. Mr. Adhikari, 50, was a Minister in the Mamata Banerjee government from 2016 to 2021 and held key portfolios of Transport and Environment. He joined the BJP in December 2020. He contested the 2021 Assembly polls from Nandigram and won against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by a slender margin of 1,956 votes.
Two of the party’s 77 legislators, Nisith Pramanik and Jagannath Sarkar, who are also MPs from Cooch Behar and Ranaghat Lok Sabha constituencies, did not take oath.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar held a press conference at the Raj Bhavan after the swearing in and said he conveyed to the Chief Minister his concern over post-poll violence.
“I have expressed deep anguish and concern at the situation earlier. I did the same today,” Mr. Dhankhar said when asked if he had any discussion with the Chief Minister. He said he expects the State government to take note of the “grim ground reality”, restore the confidence of the people and bring those who have tarnished democracy to the book.
“I have got reports that people are being made to pay for carrying out their usual activities. Extra-legal mechanisms have overtaken the situation and the State apparatus is yet to take tangible steps.”