In a major relief to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Election Commission of India on Saturday (September 4) has given an official nod for conducting the by-elections to three Assembly seats in West Bengal, including the crucial Bhabanipur constituency.
This decision will pave the way for the CM Mamata Banerjee to get elected to the West Bengal Assembly before the first week of November and be able to continue as the chief minister of the state. She must win this seat to retain her position as CM.
The Election Commission of India (EC) has cleared the decks for by-polls to be held in Bhabanipur, Samserganj and Jangipur in West Bengal on September 30 and the results will be declared on October 3, said a News18 report.
This announcement will bring relief to Mamata Banerjee who has been in tenderhooks ever since the EC has been dragging its feet to announce the dates for the by-polls reportedly due to the COVID-19 situation. Though the Trinamool Congress rode to power in the state Assembly elections this year with a huge majority, winning 213 out of the 294 seats, Mamata Banerjee did not manage to win from Nandigram constituency, from where she had contested the elections. She had lost to her rival BJP’s and her former close aide Suvendhu Adhikari.
Mamata is now expected to file her nominations from her traditional stronghold Bhabanipur in Kolkata, which has been vacated by TMC candidate Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, days after results in May this year.
In a media statement, the EC announcing its decision to hold by-elections in Bhabanipur, Samserganj and Jangirpur of West Bengal and Pipli in Odisha on September 30, said that due to the “constitutional exigency and special request” from West Bengal, it has decided to hold the by-election in 159-Bhabanipur AC.
The West Bengal chief secretary had informed the EC in lieu of public interest and to avoid a vacuum in the state, by-elections for Bhabanipur, from where CM Mamata Banerjee intends to contest elections, may be conducted, said the News18 report.
The commission has decided not to hold by-elections in other 31 Assembly Constituencies and three Parliamentary constituencies (across India) due to the COVID situation.
“While the commission has decided not to hold bye-elections in other 31 assembly constituencies and three parliamentary constituencies (across India), considering the constitutional exigency and special request from state of West Bengal, it has decided to hold bye-election in 159-Bhabanipur AC,” it said.