Mamata Banerjee to launch by-poll campaign on Wednesday
Kolkata, Sep 07: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will launch her campaign for the September 30 by-poll in Bhabanipur assembly seat on Wednesday with a meeting of TMC workers in south Kolkata, Trinamool Congress sources said. Banerjee will seek election to the assembly from the seat.
According to TMC leaders, Banerjee will address party workers and leaders of all the eight municipal wards in the constituency at an auditorium on Wednesday.
"Mamata Didi will address party workers tomorrow (Wednesday) and give them direction on how to campaign and the issues that will be highlighted. There are strict instructions from the leadership that tomorrow's meeting and the entire campaign will be held following COVID norms," a senior TMC leader said.
The TMC on Sunday officially announced Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as its candidate for the by-election in Bhabanipur.
TMC''s campaign in the south Kolkata seat is underway after the Election Commission announced the bypoll on Saturday following a request from the state government to avoid a constitutional crisis.
Banerjee, who lost the election in Nandigram to her former protege Suvendu Adhikari, has to win this by-poll to retain her chief minister''s post.
The BJP, Congress, and CPI(M)-led Left Front are yet to announce their candidates for the bypoll.
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. The counting of votes will take place on October 3.
TMC has pulled out all the stops to ensure Banerjee''s victory by a record margin and has engaged senior leaders to look after the eight municipal wards in the constituency.
"The party state president (Subrata Bakshi) has been given the responsibility of ward 63, party secretary-general and minister Partha Chatterjee has been assigned with ward numbers 71 and 72, state minister Firhad Hakim and other senior leaders have been asked to look after other wards. This has been done to ensure that Didi (Banerjee) wins the seat with a record margin," another senior TMC leader said.
Banerjee is a resident of Bhabanipur and has contested from the seat in the past two state 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.