Congress will think ‘afresh’ on fielding candidate opposite Mamata Banerjee in bypolls: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
- Congress had earlier announced that as a “courtesy” the party would not be fielding any candidate opposite Mamata Banerjee
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on Monday that the party would think “afresh” about fielding a candidate to contest the bypolls at Bhowanipore assembly seat against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. “Now that the by-election has been announced, we have to think afresh. All India Congress Committee will take the final call,” Chowdhury said.
Congress had earlier announced that as a “courtesy” the party would not be fielding any candidate opposite Banerjee, which Chowdhury insisted was his “personal opinion” that needs to be rethought now that poll dates have been declared. “I had opined that as a gesture of courtesy Congress should not field anyone against the incumbent chief minister. It was my personal view then,” the Congress leader said.
The Election Commission announced on September 4 that the bypolls for Bhowanipore, Samserganj and Jangipur constituencies will be held on September 30 and counting of the votes will be held on October 3. Bhowanipore has been the bastion of Trinamool Congress chief Banerjee who had made a last moment decision to contest the assembly elections from Nandigram against her former protege Suvendu Adhikari. Banerjee lost to Adhikari by a thin margin of over 1,900 votes.
Adhikari, who had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prior to the elections, hit out at the chief minister on Sunday over her defeat in Nandigram.
“Who told you (West Bengal CM) to come to Nandigram? Now, if the party asks me to contest (from Bhowanipore), then what will happen? I defeated her (CM) by 1,956 votes,” he told his supporters at Nadia. BJP, who lost the assembly elections to the ruling TMC, is yet to declare a candidate for the Bhawanipore seat.