The Election Commission of India said on Saturday that a by-election in West Bengal’s Bhabanipur Assembly, from where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will contest, will take place on September 30. In order to remain the Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee needs to win the Bhabanipur Assembly.
The EC announced the byelections in Odisha’s Pipli Assembly constituency and three of West Bengal’s constituencies, including Samserganj and Jangipur, on September 30. The counting will be held on October 3.
Meanwhile, the EC has deferred by-polls for 31 other constituencies, including those in Maharashtra, Telangana, and a few northeastern states, in the wake of the COVID-19 situation.
The EC in a notification said, “… considering the constitutional exigency and special request from the state of West Bengal, it has (been) decided to hold by-poll for AC 159 – Bhabanipur. Much stricter norms have been kept by the Commission as an abundant caution to safeguard from COVID-19.”
The Bhabanipur constituency is crucial for Mamata Banerjee as she had moved out of her traditional seat to fight from the Nandigram constituency but lost the seat to her former close aide now a BJP leader, Suvendu Adhikari. The BJP leader beat Mamata by less than 2,000 votes.
The CM had later also challenged Adhikari’s win in the Calcutta High Court.
She had also asked for Adhikari’s election to be declared void on grounds of commission of corrupt practices, seeking of votes on basis of religion, and booth capture.
But the EC rejected her plea to recount.
Adhikari is now the Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly.
Courtesy – www.dnaindia.com