West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday formally announced that she will contest Bhabanipur assembly by-election as the candidate of the Trinamool Congress. The Trinamool Congress had on Sunday officially announced her candidature for Bhabanipur which is home borough of Mamata Banerjee. Mamata Banerjee has to win the by-election to retain her position as CM as she had the Nandigram constituency to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari during the assembly polls.
Bhabanipur is a cosmopolitan space within Kolkata where around 40 % of the population is Marwaris, Gujaratis, Punjabis and other non-Bengali communities.
I will file my nomination for Bhabanipur Assembly by-election on September 10: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee pic.twitter.com/mHkBwUVhqO— ANI (@ANI) September 8, 2021
Bhabanipur along with two other constituencies namely Jangipur and Samserganj of West Bengal will go for poll on September 30. Counting of the votes will be held on October 3, as per the notification of the Election Commission of India. Bhabanipur seat was vacated by West Bengal Agriculture Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May for Mamata Banerjee to contest.
With this announcement, she also started election campaigning against her chief rival; the BJP which had thrown a very tough fight during the recently held eight-phase assembly elections in Bengal.
In this by-election, the BJP will be her chief rival as the Bengal unit of the BJP had sent six names to central leadership to pick any of them as candidate against the chief minister including former governor Tathagata Roy, Priyanka Tibrewal and Biswajit Sarkar. Sarkar is the brother of BJP worker Abhijit Sarkar who was allegedly murdered by Trinamool Congress workers in Kolkata on May 2.
Mamata Banerjee had accused the BJP and the Narendra Modi government for using central agencies to target leaders of the Trinamool Congress. Nevertheless, the Bengal government and her party have been facing probes over allegations of post-poll violence including rape and murder. The CBI is investigating these cases under judicial supervision on the orders of the Calcutta High Court.
In the assembly election she retained Bengal for the third consecutive term but this time she lost the Nandigram seat to her BJP rival Suvendu Adhikari. She took oath as chief minister of Bengal after the election but it was very much required for her to get elected within six months after taking oath as per rules.
Now it seems that the BJP; the principal opposition party in Bengal assembly, will be the only challenger to this fresh bid of Mamata Banerjee
The Congress party has withdrawn from the fray even if very recently the Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had said that his party will contest Bhabanipur. The party has announced that it will not field any candidate against Mamata Banerjee. Earlier on Monday, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had said that the Congress would field a candidate against Banerjee in Bhabanipur. However, on Tuesday he said that the AICC has decided not to field any candidate opposite Banerjee for the September 30 bypoll.
The Congress which has been completely washed away in Bengal doesn’t want to annoy Mamata Banerjee so that the party can piggyback on Mamata Banerjee in the 2024 parliamentary election.