West Bengal Assembly election 2021, Bharati Ghosh profile: Ex-IPS officer to face former colleague Humayun Kabir in Debra
She had resigned as an IPS officer at the end of 2017 after being transferred to a less significant post and joined the BJP in 2019
BJP has fielded former IPS officer from the Debra Assembly constituency in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly polls.
Ghosh is contesting against TMC candidate and former colleague Sangram Kumar, who is making his political debut this year from the seat which will go to polls in the second of eight phases on 1 April.
The former IPS officer was close to the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and referred to her as ‘Maa’ (mother) in a public meeting.
Bharati Ghosh was born in April 1962 and raised in Kolkata, West Bengal and went on to pursue bachelor's and master's degrees from Jadavpur University. She also holds an LL.B degree from Burdwan University and received a diploma from Harvard University while serving as an IPS officer. She has also reportedly worked in the United Nations for a few years.
Bharati initially worked for the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal Police. Often credited for making Midnapore free from the Naxalite terrorism, she served as an IPS officer from 1994 till 2017. She was earlier the police chief of Jhargram district.
She had resigned as an IPS officer at the end of 2017 after being transferred to a less significant post. She later returned a medal and a certificate that she had received for commendable services from the state government.
Bharati joined BJP in 2019 and contested the 2019 elections from Ghatal constituency. While campaigning, she was accused by TMC of using foul means to garner votes. She and her husband MV Raju, were accused of extortion, power abuse cheating in 2018. The latter was also arrested by the police.
In November last year, a clash erupted between supporters of the BJP and the TMC after Ghosh's convoy was blocked in Purba Medinipur. In March, police stopped a car carrying Ghosh in it and seized cash worth 1.13 lakh. TMC accused Ghosh of currying favours from the voters by buying their votes.
The Supreme Court of India earlier this month ordered that the non-bailable arrest warrant against BJP candidate and former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh in connection with the 2019 Lok Sabha polls violence case be kept in abeyance till the conclusion of the assembly polls.
She is the richest among candidates in fray in the second phase of Bengal polls, says a report released by the West Bengal Election Watch, a civil society group. Ghosh has declared assets worth more than Rs 19.21 crore.
The Debra Assembly constituency lies in the Paschim Medinipur district, and is a part of the Ghatal Lok Sabha constituency.
Elections for the West Bengal Assembly will be held in eight phases, up from seven last time, beginning with polling for 30 seats on 27 March. The second phase of West Bengal's assembly elections has been scheduled for 1 April and will cover 30 constituencies, followed by the third phase on 6 April for 31 seats, the fourth on 10 April for 44 constituencies, the fifth on 17 April for 45 seats, sixth for 43 seats on 22 April, seventh phase on 26 April for 36 seats and last and eighth phase on 29 April for 35 seats.
The results of the election will be declared on 2 May.
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