Bengal: BJP, CPIM candidates to file nomination for Bhabanipur bypolls today
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Priyanka Tibrewal and CPIM candidate Srijib Biswas are scheduled to file their nominations for the coming Bhabanipur by-elections in Kolkata today.
Today is the last day for filing of nomination for the bypoll scheduled on September 30. The results would be announced on October 3. As of now, only West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has filed her nomination. The Congress has decided not to field any candidate.
While Tibrewal is a BJP youth leader and an advocate who played a pivotal role in the legal battle in the Calcutta high court on post-poll violence which led a five-judge bench to order for a CBI probe, CPIM’s Biswas is also a lawyer.
Even though the TMC returned to power by winning 213 out of the 292 seats in the recent assembly elections, Banerjee was defeated by her protégé-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram in Purba Medinipur by a narrow margin of 1,956 votes.
Banerjee took oath as the state’s chief minister on May 5, and needs to win the by-election before November 5 to retain the post.
The constituency, in the heart of south Kolkata, is TMC citadel and Banerjee’s home turf. She won the assembly elections twice in 2011 and 2016 from the seat. It has round 206,300 electors out of which 951,43, or around 46%, are women voters.
The TMC has put senior leaders such as Firhand Hakim, Subrata Mukhrjee and Partha Chatterjee in charge of the campaign in the eight civic wards that come under Bhabanipur. Party MP Mala Roy has been asked to consolidate the women votes.
“If you sit at home thinking that Didi would win hands down, the web of conspiracy would have far reaching effects. Don’t blame me then. Everyone has to work as a party worker and ensure 100% voter turnout,” Banerjee said at a recent organisational meeting.
The BJP too has hinted that it won’t be a cakewalk for the TMC and has drawn up its own strategy. An election management team with party MP Arjun Singh has been set up. A list of 20 star campaigners, including Union ministers Smriti Irani and Hardeep Singh Puri, has also been prepared.
“This fight is against injustice. The chief minister doesn’t belong to any party. She is the chief minister of West Bengal. Despite that, she kept quiet during post-poll violence. I am sure the people of Bhabanipur will understand why Nandigram didn’t vote for Mamata,” Tibrewal told reporters.