Kolkata: The BJP has fielded high court lawyer Priyanka Tibrewal against chief minister Mamata Banerjee in the Bhowanipore assembly by-poll. Tibrewal’s claim to prominence is her consistent legal role to bring to book culprits of post-poll violence in West Bengal that prompted the Calcutta High Court to order a court-monitored CBI investigation into complaints of murder, rape and violence against women and hand over the other criminal complaints to a Special Investigation Team under former HC Chief Justice Manjula Chellur.
Tibrewal cut her teeth in electoral politics as BJP’s candidate from Entally assembly seat, where she lost to Trinamool Congress’ Swarna Kamal Saha by over 50,000 votes in the recently concluded assembly polls. At that time, the BJP candidate for Bhowanipore was actor-politician Rudranil Ghosh, who lost to Trinamool senior Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay by 28,000 votes.
Tibrewal didn’t give up though. A member of BJP lawyers’ cell, Tibrewal began a solo legal battle in HC, taking up the cause of post-poll violence victims and their rehabilitation. This got her noticed by the BJP brass. Bengal BJP had proposed her name along with two others to the party brass in Delhi. BJP seniors in Bengal had been insisting on a woman candidate against CM Banerjee.
BJP MLAs and MPs have planned a low-key but intensive campaign with emphasis on ‘chai pe addas’ in the morning and reaching out to voters’ houses. Tibrewal would be up against a tough challenge in contesting against Mamata. Yet, Bengal BJP co-minder Amit Malviya had assigned responsibilities to booth-level party workers days ago. Party MPs would be in charge of various wards under the guidance of Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh, appointed BJP observer for Bhowanipore.
Fight for justice
“This is a fight against injustice. This is a fight for justice, for the people of West Bengal. I would like to tell the people of Bhabanipur that they've received a big opportunity, they should come forward and make history,” said Tibrewal ahead of filing nomination from Bhabanipur assembly constituency.
Targeting Mamata over post-poll violence in the state, Tibrewal said that the people have the right to live but this right is being taken away by Mamata and her party. Additionally, Tibrewal also visited the Kalighat Temple, Kolkata where she offered her prayers to Goddess Kali. Tibrewal also stated that the elections would not be conducted with transparency as the ruling party supports violence.