The Punjabi-Bengali connection sure works wonders when it comes to friendship and love, but can it work in politics as well? As the Bhabanipur bye-elections approach, both the TMC and the BJP have thronged the constituency’s gurudwara to woo the Sikh voters in the area.
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who is on a two-day visit to Kolkata to campaign for Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bhabanipur candidate Priyanka Tibrewal, paid obeisance at Gurudwara Sant Kutiya Ji on Wednesday. He has also conducted door-to-door campaigns in support of Tibrewal.
“It feels good to be in Bhabanipur constituency. I started my day by seeking blessings at Gurudwara Sant Kutiya Ji early in the morning today. I also had several door-to-door campaigns after my Gurudwara visit. Voters have an understanding of the real issues in this constituency,” he said.
On the other hand, West Bengal Chief Minister and Bhabanipur’s TMC Candidate, Mamata Banerjee, also reached out to the Sikh community last week. She, too, visited Gurudwara Sant Kutiya Ji to seek blessings ahead of the bye-elections. She was seen covering her head with a white scarf during her gurudwara visit and later interacted with the locals in the area.
Speaking to the media outside the Gurudwara, Mamata said, “I am here to take blessings from you all. I have been here several times to seek blessings and whenever I have free time, I try to visit the gurudwara.”
Bhabanipur area, also known as ‘Mini Bharat’, has around two lakh voters and is a metropolitan assembly constituency. The area has sizable amount of Sikh voters residing alongside the Bengalis. The constituency is a crucial one as it is also Mamata Banerjee’s home turf and has always received the support of non-Bengali voters in the past.
Bye-election in Bhabanipur is slated to be conducted on September 30 and counting of votes will be done on October 3. The seat fell vacant after MLA Sobhandev Chattopadhyay resigned from his post, paving way for Mamata Banerjee to contest and secure her chair of chief minister in the state.