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EC announces bypoll in CM Mamata’s constituency Bhowanipore

EC To Implement SC Ruling On Caste, Religion

Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata (The Hawk): The Election Commission of India’s (EC) announcement on Saturday, regarding permission to hold bypoll in three constituencies of West Bengal, Bhowanipore, Samserganj and Jangipur on September 30, is set to bring cheer to the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

There had been a bitter tussle between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over holding bypoll in the seven constituencies, which have been left vacant due to death or leaving of the seats by the candidates.

While the BJP had been opposing the move to hold bypoll in state citing pandemic conditions not being conducive, the ruling TMC had been harping on the low positive cases and opening of many restrictions as reason enough to hold the polls now. The BJP has also been sensing a moral victory if the chief minister, who lost her election from Nandigram, had to resign from her post if she was not elected within the six months of holding the state polls.  

According to local area sources Trinamool Congress since August had been doing soft campaigning in Bhowanipore constituency invoking the Bengali sentiment: ‘Unnayan ghore ghore, ghorer meye Bhowanipore e’ (with development in every household, daughter of the state resides in Bhowanipore).

According to the EC, the campaigns and election process will be held abiding to all the pandemic protocols and the counting will be on October 3.

“Street corner meetings can take place with only 50 people and indoor meetings cannot see more than 200 people. For door-to-door campaigns, only five people can accompany the candidate and all those involved in the election process should be totally vaccinated,” read the EC circular adding that there should be no road shows and the poll campaign should end 72 hours before the poll.

The EC sources also added that failing of the regulations will lead to no campaign for the candidate.

Regarding the bypoll of the remaining four constituencies, the EC is yet to decide on a fresh date.

The last date of filing nomination for these three constituencies is on September 13, the date of withdrawal of candidatures is on September 16 and the entire process will have to be completed by October 5.

Welcoming the move, TMC spokesperson and state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said that the situation is conducive for bypoll and it should be conducted maintaining all the guidelines prescribed by the EC.

West Bengal BJP vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar claimed that the claims of TMC that EC is being run by BJP has been proved wrong with the EC’s announcement.

Notably, within November 5 Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has to get elected as a MLA or else she would have to resign from the CM post.

It can be recalled that Mamata had taken oath as chief minister on May 5 and within six months she will have to win the bypoll as she had lost the Nandigram seat to leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari.

Incidentally, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay who had won from the Bhowanipore seat had vacated the seat for TMC chief, who is all set to contest from the Bhowanipore constituency.