By-election for West Bengal’s Bhabinipur Assembly constituency — Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee’s old bastion from where she intends to contest — will be held on September 30.
The by-polls in the Bhabanipur Assembly seat are necessitated after West Bengal agriculture minister and veteran TMC leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay vacated constituency in May this year.
Banerjee, who lost the Nandigram seat to her former close aide and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari in the April-May Assembly polls in West Bengal, needs to get elected to the Assembly to hold on the Chief Minister’s chair. The Bengal CM had moved out of her traditional Bhabanipur seat to contest from Nandigram.
This will give the Trinamool Congress chief a chance to become a member of the state Legislative Assembly.
Besides Bhabanipur, bypolls will also be held in two other Assembly constituencies of West Bengal — Samserganj and Jangipur — and one of Odisha — Pipli — on the same date.
Counting of votes will be done on October 3, the Election Commission said in its notification.
However, bypolls for 31 other constituencies have been deferred in view of the COVID-19 situation, the poll panel added.
“… considering the constitutional exigency and special request from the state of West Bengal, it has (been) decided to hold bypoll for AC 159 – Bhabanipur. Much stricter norms have been kept by the Commission as an abundant caution to safeguard from COVID-19,” the EC said in its press note.
“After taking into consideration the inputs and views of Chief Secretaries of the concerned states, and the respective Chief Electoral Officers, the Commission has decided not to hold bypolls in other 31 Assembly constituencies and 3 Parliamentary constituencies,” it added.