On Friday, BJP announced that the party is fielding Priyanka Tibrewal for the upcoming by-elections in Bhabanipur against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The by-polls scheduled for 30 September was necessitated after TMC MLA Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay had resigned after winning the seat, so that Mamata Banerjee can contest from the ‘safe’ seat to remain as the CM. She needs to get elected to the assembly as she had lost from Nandigram against BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari.
Priyanka Tibrewal is an advocate by profession who had joined the BJP in the year 2014. She is a practicing lawyer at the Calcutta High Court and Supreme Court. Prior to joining BJP, she had worked a legal counsel for singer and BJP leader Babul Supriyo. Tibrewal has entered politics with the help of Supriyo. In the year 2020, she was made the vice president of the West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the party.
She had contested the 2021 assembly elections from the Entally constituency, but had lost to TMC candidate Swarna Kamal Saha by a margin of 58,257 votes. Before that Priyanka Tibrewal had contested Kolkata municipal elections in 2015, but she was defeated by TMC candidate in that poll also.
Born in 1981, Priyanka Tibrewal had done her schooling at Welland Goulsmith School, Kolkata. She had graduated from Delhi University, and had done law from the Hazara Law College under the University of Kolkata. After doing law, she had gone to Bangkok to do MBA in HR from the Assumption University of Thailand. She had obtained her law degree in 2007 and the MBA in 2009.
According to her election affidavit in the 2021 assembly elections, Priyanka Tibrewal has never faced any criminal case against her. Her husband is Aditya Kumar Tibrewal.
She had been a very active and vocal leader of the party. Priyanka Tibrewal is one of the petitioners in the petitions filed in the Bengal post-poll violence cases, which have led to the Calcutta High Court ordering CBI and SIT probe in the cases. Her petition has also led the high court order for a second autopsy of BJP leader Abhijit Sarkar, who was killed in post-poll violence on May 2.
By fielding Priyanka Tibrewal, BJP seeks to Trinamool Congress slogan of ‘Bangla nijer meyekei chay’ (Bengal wants its own daughter), but fielding a daughter of Bengal against another daughter of Bengal.
Talking to India Today, Tibrewal said, “I have defeated the chief minister in the high court in the first fight. Because when she said there was no violence, I proved there was violence and the court order proves this too. The way we have seen people being killed in West Bengal, the murders, rapes, vandalism. But the chief minister has been silent. Our fight is against that silence.”
She told News18, “”Mamata Banerjee is a two-time MLA from Bhabanipur but I was born there. It is my ancestral house, so I was born and brought up in Bhabanipur. I believe Mamata Banerjee doesn’t want the votes of outsiders or Hindi-speaking people. Certainly, she will get a befitting reply.”
Bhabanipur is a TMC bastion and as the sitting chief minister, Mamata Banerjee has several advantages in the upcoming election. But this ‘daughter vs daughter’ election has the potential of becoming interesting.