A scuffle broke out between the workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Mamata Banerjee’s stronghold Bhabanipur where voting for bypoll will be held on September 30. According to reports, West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh’s cavalcade was attacked during a campaign by the TMC activists.
Senior BJP leader and IT cell head Amit Malviya said that the saffron party’s massive outreach in Bhabanipur has unnerved the TMC. He said that attempts are being made to stop leaders from campaigning.
“But how many people will they be able to stop? BJP leaders are spread out in every corner of the constituency. Importantly, the public is out in large numbers to support,” he tweeted.
Today is the last day of campaigning in Bhabanipur. The bypoll will be held on September 30 along with the elections to Samserganj and Jangipur seats in Murshidabad district where polling could not be held during the eight-phase assembly election held earlier this year.
Banerjee, a resident of Bhabanipur, needs to win in order to hold on to her office. She has contested from Bhabanipur in the past two assembly elections since 2011.
Banerjee, who led her party to a massive electoral triumph for a third successive term, is required to win a seat in the state assembly by November 5 in conformity with the constitutional provisions 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.
After her defeat in Nandigram, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, state Cabinet minister and TMC MLA from Bhabanipur, vacated the seat to facilitate her election from there. Banerjee had entered the Assembly after winning the by-poll in the Bhabanipur seat months after her party stormed to power by ousting the 34-year-old Left Front regime in 2011. She is a six-term MP from the South Kolkata Lok Sabha seat, which has the Bhabanipur seat as one of its segments.
The BJP has fielded Priyanka Tibrewal against Mamata while the CPI(M) has given ticket to Srijib Biswas. Congress has not fielded anyone against the TMC supremo.