West Bengal: Mamata Banerjee to file nomination for by-polls to Bhabanipur seat today
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee will on Friday file her nomination papers for the by-polls to the Bhabanipur seat, an election she needs to win in order to hold on to her office. This comes months after her party dominated the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the West Bengal assembly elections but Banerjee was routed by turncoat leader Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram. The Election Commission earlier this month announced dates for the upcoming by-polls on three seats in West Bengal and one in Odisha.
Mamata Banerjee, while addressing the TMC workers' convention in Chetla on Wednesday, confirmed that she would file her nomination for the Bhabanipur assembly by-election on September 10.
Firing a fresh salvo at the BJP-led central government, the West Bengal chief minister said earlier this week, "Only God knows the way polls were held in 2021. The Centre lied, still couldn't beat me. There was a conspiracy behind an attack on me in Nandigram. Thousands of goons from outside came to mislead about Bengal."
Claiming that the BJP is “worse than Duryodhana and Dushashana”, the Kaurava brothers in the Mahabharata epic, Banerjee alleged that Modi and Shah hatched a conspiracy to defeat her in Nandigram during the assembly election held earlier this year and forced her to contest a by-poll.
Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh termed Banerjee's allegations “baseless” while noting that the contest in Bhabanipur will solely be between the BJP and the TMC and the CPI(M) or Congress announcing their candidatures are not an important factor.
“There can be any number of candidates in by-polls, our voters are with us,” Ghosh said. “The CPI(M) and Congress announcing or not announcing their candidates is not a factor in the West Bengal polls; they didn't get entry into the assembly in the last polls. The contest is between the state government and BJP. We are ready.”
The Left Front has announced that CPI(M) leader Srijib Biswas will be its candidate for the by-poll to Bhabanipur assembly constituency. The seat itself was vacated by TMC MLA Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, who resigned to allow Banerjee to contest from there, necessitating the by-election.
September 13 is the last date for filing nominations.
The by-poll for the Bhabanipur seat will be held on September 30 (Thursday), according to the schedule announced by the Election Commission. On the same date, by-elections would also be held in the Samserganj and Jangipur seats of West Bengal, as well as in the Pipli constituency of Odisha. The counting votes will take place on October 3.