To give a tough competition to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, BJP has made state BJYM vice-president Priyanka Tibrewal its candidate in the Bhawanipur by-election. Tibrewal, who unsuccessfully contested the West Bengal Assembly elections from Entally, is also an advocate practicing in the Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court. She was one of the petitioners who had moved the Calcutta HC over the post-poll violence in the state.
Ultimately, a 5-member constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justices IP Mukherjee, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Subrata Talukdar directed that all cases of murder and crimes against women, including rape, related to post-poll violence be transferred Will go CBI. In addition, it handed over all other cases referred by the NHRC to an SIT, which included IPS officers Suman Bala Sahu, Soumen Mitra and Ranbir Kumar. Earlier in the day, the BJP appointed Lok Sabha MP Arjun Singh as the party’s in-charge for the Bhawanipur bypoll and will be assisted by fellow MPs Soumitra Khan and Jyotirmoy Singh Mahto.
In addition, 8 sitting MLAs will act as observers for 8 wards of this constituency. While WB BJP general secretary Sanjay Singh will be the organizational in-charge, Shankar Sikdar, Agnimitra Paul and Somnath Banerjee have been made organizational co-incharges. Meanwhile, Banerjee is expected to file her nomination papers on Friday.
Accepting TMC turncoat Suvendu Adhikari’s challenge to contest from Nandigram in 2021 assembly elections, two-time Bhawanipur MLA Mamata Banerjee lost by a narrow margin of less than 2000 votes. While he moved the Calcutta HC against the officer’s victory in Nandigram, the TMC supremo had to be elected within a period of 6 months i.e. till November 4, to continue as the Chief Minister. At present, only Banerjee and Finance Minister Amit Mitra are the two non-MLAs in the WB Council of Ministers.
Soon after the election, West Bengal Agriculture Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay resigned as the MLA of Bhawanipore, paving the way for Banerjee to contest from there. Taking into account the assurance of the State Chief Secretary that the COVID-19 situation is under control, the Election Commission of India announced that by-elections will be held for Bhabnipur, Samserganj and Jangipur on 30 September. The counting of votes is scheduled for October 3.
While the Congress has decided not to participate in the bypolls, the CPI(M) has fielded Shreejib Biswas as its candidate from Bhawanipur. Rejecting the Left Front’s challenge, West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh insisted that it would be a direct confrontation between the BJP and the TMC. In the 2021 assembly elections, TMC’s Sovandeb Chattopadhyay defeated BJP’s Rudranil Ghosh by a margin of 28,719 votes.