Nation

Mamata Banerjee back in election mode, may test her mettle from Bhabanipur on September 30

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India has decided to hold a by-election in Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency (West Bengal) on September 30, from where Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mamata Banerjee intends to contest. The EC on Saturday (September 4) announced holding in one assembly constituency of Odisha and three of West Bengal on that day.

Polls will also be held in Samserganj and Jangipur of West Bengal and Pipli (Odisha) on the date. The counting will be on October 3.

This will allow Mamata Banerjee a chance to become a member of the state legislative assembly.

Mamata had moved out of her traditional Bhabanipur seat to fight in Nandigram during the Assembly polls earlier this year but lost to his former close aide Suvendhu Adhikari who contested on a BJP ticket. Mamata was beaten by less than 2,000 votes in a closely fought battle, which also turned into a controversial race, the result of which she has challenged in the Calcutta High Court.

Adhikari is now the Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly. The Election Commission said in a statement that it has decided to hold a by-election in Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency of West Bengal.

According to an Election Commission press note, the West Bengal chief secretary has informed that in view of administrative exigencies and public interest and to avoid a vacuum in the state, bye-elections for Bhabanipur, from where CM Mamata Banerjee intends to contest elections, may be conducted.

“While the commission has decided not to hold bye-elections in other 31 Assembly Constituencies and three Parliamentary constituencies (across India), considering the constitutional exigency and special request from state of West Bengal, it has decided to hold by-election in 159-Bhabanipur AC,” it said.

Earlier this year, the TMC claimed an emphatic victory in the state Assembly elections, winning 213 of 294 seats in the Bengal Assembly. However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerhjee lost her individual contest to Suvendu Adhikari.