BJP using agencies against TMC leaders before bypolls: Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for using the central agencies against TMC leaders, as soon as the bypoll dates were announced.
The BJP is pursuing vendetta politics and is targeting Abhishek Banerjee.... As soon as bypoll dates are announced, TMC leaders are being summoned by (central) agencies,” she said addressing an organisational meeting of the TMC in south Kolkata, the first such meeting since the EC announced bypolls to Bhabanipur.
The CM was referring to party general secretary and her nephew, Abhishek Banerjee being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Delhi on Monday in a money laundering case linked to an alleged coal pilferage scam in West Bengal.
Banerjee will file her nomination for the Bhabanipur on Friday. The bypolls would be held on September 30 while the counting will take place on October 3.
“This election would be a challenge. This would be a big game ahead of the 2024 elections,” Banerjee said.
Even though the TMC returned to power with a sweeping victory winning 213 seats out of the 292 seats in the recent assembly elections, Banerjee who had contested from Nandigram in Purba Medinipur lost by 1,956 votes to former TMC leader, Suvendu Adhikari, who moved to the BJP. She needs to win a bypoll to retain her position.
Banerjee on Wednesday hinted to her party leaders and workers that the BJP would go all out to ensure that the battle doesn’t become a cake walk for the TMC.
“We can assure that no election would be a cake walk for the TMC. This election shouldn’t have happened because every day our leaders are coming under attack...,” said Samik Bhattacharya, BJP’s spokesperson in the state, referring to the attack on BJP MP Arjun Singh’s house in 24 North Parganas district.
While the Congress has already decided not to field any candidate against Mamata, the BJP’s unit in West Bengal has proposed six names from which the party’s top leadership in New Delhi is expected to choose one who would be fielded. The Left Front on Wednesday announced Advocate Srijib Biswas as their candidate from Bhabanipur.
In the 2021 polls nine candidates contested from Bhabanipur out of which deposit of seven candidates were forfeited. The fight was primarily between the TMC and BJP.
Apart from Bhabanipur, bypolls are also to be held on Samserganj and Jangipur.