The election commission of India has announced that it will hold by-elections in Bhabinipur and 2 other assembly seats in West Bengal and one in Odisha. The polling is to be held on the 30th of September and votes would be counted on October 3rd.
CM Mamta Banerjee has to contest and win the seat in the by-elections to remain the Chief Minister for West Bengal, for the third time. After losing to a tough battle for the Nandigram seat. Mamta has been made the CM but is required to become a state legislative member, according to the constitutional requirement of an unelected representative to become part of the assembly within six months of assuming office.
Mamata Banerjee is set to fight for her assembly seat from Bhawanipur, which has been traditionally her seat, until the last election, where she decided to switch. She lost her battle at Nandigram, against her close aide turned political rival, Suvendhu Adhikari of the BJP. However, the TMC did win the election in West Bengal with a landslide margin. Adhikari who won against Mamata, in a close margin is now the Leader of opposition in the West Bengal Assembly.
The Bhawanipur seat was then won by Shobhandeb Chattopadhyay, who resigned to allow Mamata Banerjee to contest from her seat for the by-election. Shobhandeb is the current state agriculture minister and also has to contest and win a seat, by November to remain a minister.
It is a relief for the TMC, as it was getting apprehensive of the EC not holding the by-elections for the assembly seats in time, due to Covid restrictions. Which would put CM Mamta Banerjee and TMC in a tough spot.
The by-elections are to be conducted in Samserganj and Jahangirpur of West Bengal and Pipli in Odisha on September 30, with the counting of votes to be held on October 3rd for all the seats.
-Supratik Mitra (04/09/21)