Mamata Banerjee To Contest By-election On Sept 30

Mamata Banerjee will contest bypolls from Bhabanipur Assembly seat in Bengal and must win the seat to remain Chief Minister. The polls will be held on September 30.

The counting of votes will take place on October 3. This was stated by the Election Commission through a notification, which has also announced bypoll dates for two other seats in Bengal (Samserganj) and (Jangipur), as well as Pipli in Odisha.

However, bypolls for 31 constituencies in different states including those in Maharashtra, Telangana and some northeastern states – have been deferred in light of the Covid situation.

“After taking into consideration the inputs and views of Chief Secretaries of the concerned states, and the respective Chief Electoral Officers, the Commission has decided not to hold bypolls in other 31 Assembly constituencies and 3 Parliamentary constituencies,” it added.

Covid cases in Bengal (and other poll-bound states) spiked during campaigning and voting earlier this year; in Bengal daily new cases reached a peak of over 20,000 in mid-May. Mamata Banerjee gave up on her Bhabanipur seat to contest from Nandigram. However, she lost.

The government’s pushing for the bypolls has been criticised by the BJP; last month state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh asked MS Banerjee why she was in such a hurry.

Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress claimed an emphatic victory in the April-May election, winning 213 of a total of 294 seats in the Bengal Assembly, but she lost her individual contest.

The CM had given up her stronghold of Bhabanipur to contest from Nandigram – a high-profile clash with the BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari, her former aide.