The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee did not mention about pending criminal cases in her nomination papers for Bhabanipur by-poll. The saffron party has also filed a complaint with the Election Commission against the TMC chief.
While the BJP has fielded Priyanka Tibrewal, a lawyer by profession, CPI(M) has fielded lawyer Srijib Biswas from the seat. Congress has refrained from taking part in the by-election. Bhabanipur will go to the polls on September 30 and the results will be declared on October 3.
Earlier on Friday, Banerjee filed her nomination for the by-poll winning which is an absolute necessity for her to continue as the Chief Minister.
Banerjee, a resident of Bhabanipur, had won the seat twice in 2011 and 2016 but shifted to Nandigram, where the anti-farmland acquisition movement against the Left Front government had transformed her into a major political force in the volatile state, to dare her former protege and now a BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on his home turf. Though Banerjee powered the TMC to a resounding win for a third straight term in office, she lost in Nandigram. She now must win Bhabanipur to ensure an unbroken stint as the Chief Minister.
Banerjee is required to win a seat in the state assembly by November 5 in conformity with the constitutional provisions in order to continue as Chief Minister. The Constitution allows a non-member of a state legislature or Parliament to continue in a ministerial position without getting elected only for six months.
After her defeat in Nandigram, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, state cabinet minister and TMC MLA from Bhabanipur, vacated the seat to facilitate her return to the assembly from there.
Banerjee was first elected to the Assembly in a by-poll from Bhabanipur months after the TMC stormed to power ousting the 34-year-old Left Front dispensation in 2011. She represented South Kolkata Lok Sabha seat, of which Bhabanipur is a segment, six times.