BJP's Priyanka Tibrewal files nomination for Bhabanipur bypoll
BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal on Monday filed her nomination for the assembly bypoll to West Bengal's Bhabanipur constituency, where she is up against TMC candidate and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Left Front candidate Srijib Biswas also submitted his papers on Monday – the late date for filing nominations.
Bhabanipur will go to the polls on September 30 and results will be declared on October 3.
The Congress decided against taking part in the by-election.
Tibrewal, who is also a lawyer, filed her nomination at the Survey Building in Alipore.
Prior to filing her nomination, she offered prayers at the Golbari temple in Bhabanipur.
''People of Bhabanipur have got a chance to repeat what happened in Nandigram a few months ago. This is a fight against injustice... This is a fight for justice, for the people of West Bengal. I would like to tell the voters of Bhabanipur that they’ve received a big opportunity, they should come forward and create history,'' she said after filing her nomination.
A lawyer and petitioner in a string of PILs filed against the TMC government over incidents of violence that rocked West Bengal after the assembly elections, Tibrewal currently holds the state vice president's post in Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the BJP's youth wing.
She had her first brush with electoral politics in 2015, when she contested and lost the Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls. She also fought the 2021 assembly polls unsuccessfully from Entally seat, with TMC's Swarna Kamal Saha defeating her by more than 58,000 votes. Making light of the assertions made by Adhikari and Tibrewal, senior TMC leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said the BJP should ''stop day dreaming''.
''Forget defeating Mamata Banerjee, the BJP will struggle to save the security money it deposited to contest the by-election from Bhabanipur. People have made up their minds, they will ensure Banerjee's victory by a record margin,'' he stated.
Biswas, whose nomination filing was a low-key affair, said it is a battle of ideologies and fight for issues that concern masses.
''It is not a fight of personalities but a battle of ideologies. We are fighting for the issues which concern the masses such as unemployment and price rise,'' Biswas said.
Banerjee, a resident of Bhabanipur, had won the seat twice in 2011 and 2016. In the elections held earlier this year, the TMC supremo, however, shifted to Nandigram, where an anti-farmland acquisition movement against the Left Front government had transformed her into a major political force in the volatile state, as she sought to cross swords with her former protege and now a BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.
Though Banerjee powered the TMC to a resounding win for a third straight term in office, she lost the elections in Nandigram. She will have to win Bhabanipur to ensure an unbroken stint as the state’s chief minister.
Banerjee is required to win a seat in the Assembly by November 5 in order to continue as the chief minister. The Constitution allows a non-member of a state legislature or Parliament to continue in a ministerial position without getting elected only for six months.
Chattopadhyay had won the seat by a margin of more than 28,000 votes.
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