With the dates of the Bhabanipur bypoll, which was necessitated after TMC MLA Sovandeb Chattopadhyay vacated the seat to allow Mamata Banerjee to contest from there to retain her Chief Ministerial post in West Bengal, has stirred a fresh round of electoral slugfest between the Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state.
Banerjee lost to Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP from Nandigram during the assembly election held earlier this year. The TMC supremo has to win this by-poll to retain her chief minister’s post.
Polling for two “deferred adjourned" elections in two other assembly seats Samserganj and Jangirpur of West Bengal will also be held the same day.
Banerjee, who led her party to a massive electoral triumph for a third successive term but lost to her former protégé-turned-rival Adhikari in Nandigram, needed to win a seat in the state assembly by November 5 in conformity with the constitutional provisions in order to continue as the chief minister.
The Constitution allows a non-member of state legislature or Parliament to continue in a ministerial position only for six months.
The BJP has lined up its star campaigners to rally for its candidate Priyanka Tibrewal, who the party has fielded against the Bengal CM. Led by Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, the list of star campaigners include leader of opposition in the state assembly Adhikari, Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Hardeep Singh Puri.
Reacting to the saffron camp’s star campaigners, TMC’s Kunal Ghosh took potshots at the BJP, questioning the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, party national president JP Nadda and even Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Besides, he hit out at the BJP for Supriyo’s name in the list since he announced “leaving his politics”.
The full list of BJP’s star campaigners:
1. Dilip Ghosh (Bengal BJP chief and MP)
2. Suvendu Adhikari (LOP and MLA)
3. Amitava Chakroborty
4. Rahul Sinha (Ex national secretary)
5. Swapan Dasgupta (MP, Rajya Sabha)
6. Anirban Ganguli
7. Debasree Choudhary (MP, former union minister)
8. Babul Supriyo (MP)
9. Subhas Sarkar (Union Minister)
10. John Barla (Union Minister)
11. Samik Bhattacharya (Chief Spokesperson)
12. Roopa Ganguli (MP)
13. Agnimitra Paul (MLA and BJP Bengal Mahila Morcha President)
14. Shantanu Thakur (Union Minister)
15. Locket Chatterjee (MP)
16. Shanwaj Hussain (National Spokesperson)
17. Smriti Irani (Union Minister)
18. Dinesh Trivedi (Former Union Minister)
19. Manoj Tiwari (MP and former state president)
20. Hardeep Singh Puri (Union Minister)