A plea seeking recusal of Calcutta High Court judge Justice Kausik Chanda from a case, citing his political affiliation to BJP, led to an interesting and cordial discussion between the judge and the lawyers appearing in the matter and the growth of BJP in the State of West Bengal..Justice Chanda said that during his initial appearances for BJP as a lawyer, the party was a relatively unknown entity in the State. In this regard, he recounted an experience when the judge, before whom he was appearing, was not aware about the full form of BJP. “The judge asked which party I am appearing for. I said Bharatiya Janata Party. He once again asked which party and I repeated. (Eventually) I said BJP, he said ‘oh BJP’,” Justice Chanda reminisced..The observations were made by the judge while hearing the recusal application filed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the election petition filed by her against BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari challenging his election from Nandigram constituency in 2021..Banerjee sought recusal of Justice Chanda since he was an active BJP member before he became a judge of Calcutta High Court.Justice Chanda had also served as Additional Solicitor General for Central government and was actively involved with BJP in West Bengal besides representing the party in numerous cases. .When the recusal application came up for hearing on Thursday, Dr. AM Singhvi, appearing for Banerjee, sought to trace Justice Chanda’s connection with the opposition party in the State.He said that Justice Chanda was head of legal cell of BJP and had also appeared for many cases for the saffron party.In this regard, Dr. Singhvi highlighted one particular case in which Justice Chanda had appeared for BJP..The judge had no qualms accepting the same.The judge also proceeded to explain the organisational structure of the party.“BJP has morcha and cells. BJP legal cell has only one post - convenor. At that relevant point of time, someone else was the convenor. But I did argue that case,” said Justice Chanda.Justice Chanda asked Dr. Singhvi whether he was aware of the organisation structure of the party.“I have many friends in BJP. I am broadly aware,” he said.He also said that he was invited to Adhivakta Parishad as speaker though he did not go. .Justice Chanda then recounted his experience as a lawyer for BJP during the initial days when the party was not a major political force in the State of West Bengal.“When I first appeared for BJP, the judge did not know the full name of the party. The judge asked which party I am appearing for. I said Bharatiya Janata Party. He once again asked which party and I repeated. (Eventually) I said BJP, he said ‘oh BJP’,” Justice Chanda reminisced..“And that party has made great strides in the State from those days,” Dr. Singhvi said.Singhvi then proceeded to point out some photographs of Justice Chanda at BJP events.Justice Chanda looked at one photo of him stating that it was his photo indeed.Justice Chanda said that he was honestly surprised to find out that many of his appearances and work for BJP had been reported by national news papers back then though he became aware of it only now when this present case for recusal came up. "We were all happy with local reports," said Justice Chanda..In response to the plea for recusal, Justice Chanda said that his objection was to the fact that the conflict issue was not raised by Banerjee’s lawyer on June 18 when the matter first came up before him.Banerjee had then adopted the route of writing to the administrative side of the High Court to reassign the matter, the judge said.“All over country, the practice is to approach the judge first on judicial side. But you approached administrative side first,” he added..Singhvi responded by stating that it would not have been appropriate to make such contentions on June 18 orally without filing the same on affidavit.Singhvi also highlighted large number of media reports and tweets about the judge’s connection with BJP."Your Lordship will only be elevating your stature by recusing from hearing the petition," Dr. Singhvi said. Justice Chanda, however, replied,"Will it not be that I am giving in to media trial if I recuse?"The judge eventually reserved order in the application saying “let me think over it”.