Mamata to contest Bhabanipur by-election

Wednesday 08th September 2021 07:48 EDT

New Delhi: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday announced the list of candidates contesting in the upcoming by- elections in West Bengal and said that Mamata Banerjee will fight from the Bhabanipur assembly constituency. According to the Election Commission, the by-elections will be held on September 30 and the counting of the votes will be held on October 3. Besides the West Bengal Chief Minister, the TMC also announced the names of candidates for by-election in Jangipur and Samserganj where Jakir Hossain and Amirul Islam will contest respectively.

Mamata who had moved out of her traditional Bhabanipur seat to fight in Nandigram during the West Bengal Assembly polls 2021, will now have a chance to become a member of the state legislative assembly. She is required to win a seat in the state assembly by November 5 in conformity with the constitutional provisions in order to continue as chief minister. The Constitution allows a non-member of a state legislature or Parliament to continue in a ministerial position for six months.

The TMC chief had lost the Nandigram seat to her former close aide Suvendu Adhikari who contested on a BJP ticket. After her defeat in Nandigram, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, state cabinet minister and TMC MLA from Bhabanipur, vacated the seat to facilitate Mamata's election from there.

Mamata Banerjee, notably, is a resident of Bhabanipur and has contested from the seat in the past two state assembly elections since 2011. The fate of Mamata and her two other candidates will be decided on the day of the counting of votes which will take place on October 3.

The Bengal government had earlier insisted that bypolls to be held, submitting that the pandemic is under control in the state. In June Mamata also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the bypolls, saying "... when PM gives instructions, Election Commission will act..."

The government's pushing for the bypolls has been criticised by the BJP; last month state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh asked Mamata why she was "in such a hurry". Mamata's Trinamool Congress claimed an emphatic victory in the April-May election, winning 213 of a total of 294 seats in the Bengal Assembly, but she lost her individual contest.

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