Kolkata, September 4, 2021: Finally, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee can heave a sigh of relief. The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday announced that the bypoll in Bhawanipore will be conducted on September 30. One assembly constituency in Odisha will also have by-election on September 30.
Dates for bypoll in Bhawanipore announced
The ECI has announced the dates for by-elections to three seats in West Bengal including Bhawanipore, Samserganj and Jangipur. The by-polls to the three seats will be conducted on September 30 and the results will be declared on October 3.
“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 bye-election in 159-Bhabanipur AC,” the ECI said in the press statement.
Bypoll in Bhawanipore before Durga Puja
The Mamata Banerjee government wanted the bypolls to be held in the state soon, and even said that Covid-19 is under control in Bengal.
The announcement definitely comes as a relief to Mamata Banerjee, who needs to win the by-poll to get elected as MLA and continues to be the chief minister of West Bengal. Mamata had lost her seat to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari with a narrow margin in the 2021 Assembly election. Mamata is expected to file nominations from Bhawanipore in Kolkata, which has been her stronghold.
TMC candidate Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay vacated the seat for Mamata, days after results in May this year.
Sovandeb Chattopadhyay will reportedly contest from Khardah, where the TMC’s winning candidate died of Covid-19 even before the results were announced in May. However, the dates for bypoll in Khardah and three other seats have not been announced.
Strict Covid-19 protocols during by-election
The Election Commission has also announced that Covid-19 protocols have to be strictly followed during the by-election. It has banned roadshows and no bike rallies are allowed. In an indoor campaign setup, only 30 percent capacity or 200 people, whichever is less, will be allowed.