Kolkata: With both the ruling Trinamool Congress and the
Opposition BJP and the CPI(M) pulling up their socks and leaving no
stone unturned to romp home, the curtain was rung on the high-pitch
campaigning for the byelection to high profile Bhawanipur Assembly
a seat at 5 PM on Monday.
The constituency comprises eight civic body wards with a total 2,,06,389 voters.
The Trinamool Congress, the BJP and the CPI(M) are in the fray, while
the Congress is not contesting the seat.
Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay won the seat in the March-April polls
but resigned from the assembly so that Banerjee, who lost to Suvendu
Adhikari at Nandigram in East Midnapore district could contest her
old seat again and continue as chief minister.
Tension ran high in Bhawanipur this morning when BJP MP Dilip Ghosh visited the place for campaigning for the party candidate when allegedly some Trinamool Congress activists raised anti-BJP slogans and manhandled him. The Election Commission sought a report from the State Government on the incident.
His security personnel were seen pointing their guns in the air to disperse the crowd, which gathered there and started raising anti-BJP slogans. In the run-up one BJP worker sustained injuries.
While the ruling party spared no pains to ensure a convincing victory
for their leader and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the BJP too roped
in several leaders from Delhi to woo the electorate for their
candidate Priyanka Tibrewal.
Ms Banerjee called upon the electorate to cast vote 100 per cent in
favour of her to remain in the saddle of the chief minister so that she
can continue to spearhead the movement against NRC, CAA, notebandi and the BJP.
Addressing an election rally at Kidderpore, parts of it falling under
the Bhawanipur assembly seat segment, Ms Banerjee explained why she
needed voters’ 100 per cent support, saying her continuation in the
chief ministerial post is depending on the victory from Bhawanipur.
” The Trinamool Congress has a majority in the assembly and the result
in the Bhawanipur bypoll is depending on whether I would continue or
someone else from the party will be the CM,” Ms Banerjee
said and appealed to the voters to turn out in hundreds and cast a vote
for her, even if the weather was wet on that day .
She said her win was necessary to carry on the movement against NRC, CAA, NPR, notebandi and BJPin the country.
She criticised the Centre for denying her permission to attend the
World Peace Forum meeting in Rome next month, saying the denial was an act of “jealousy” towards the Trinamool Congress.
The MEA ( ministry of external affairs) denied clearance to Ms
Banerjee’s Rome visit to participate in World Peace Forum, citing ”
the event is not commensurate in status for participation by Chief
Minister of a State”.
Addressing an election rally for her candidature, the TMC supremo said
the BJP could stop (defeat ) the Congress but the ruling party at the
The centre cannot defeat her Trinamool Congress.
She said the Bhawanipur voters would repeat the same performance as
they did in 2011 and 2016, meaning a win for her to remain the chief
minister.” Bhawanipur would lead the country to be a BJP free
India,” she added.
Ms Banerjee said she was invited by the Italian government to attend
the Peace Conference on October 6 and 7, but the BJP government at the centre denied her permission.
The TMC supremo also challenged the BJP and said ‘Khela’ will end only
after her TMC wins the entire nation.
” TMC alone is enough to defeat the BJP at the Centre. We have to
protect our freedom. BJP cannot run in India,” Ms Banerjee remarked.
” We have to ensure that Mamata Banerjee wins by a margin of at least
0.1 million votes, ” the chief minister’s nephew and TMC national
general secretary Abhishek Banerjee said at a meeting on Sunday
State minister Firhad Hakim, canvassing for Ms Banerjee, said their
leader represented the entire Bengal and Bhawanipur is part of it.
He said the people here had witnessed big shots during the elections
but the people have reposed faith in the chief minister.
The tourist (BJP) leaders would not make any difference this time too,
added Mr Hakim.
Meanwhile, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh
Puri on Wednesday slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her alleged comments on the farmer’s movement during her visit to the Gurdwara Sant Kutiya in Bhawanipur last week.
Ms Banerjee during her visit to the Gurudwara on September 15
advocated in favour of the ongoing farmers’ movement, demanding
withdrawal of the three central farm laws.
She expressed her support for the farmers’ movement and how she took
part in demanding withdrawal of the farm laws adopted by the NDA
Mr Puri, campaigning for BJP candidate for the Bhawanipur seat, told
reporters that he was a bit upset with the statement of Ms Banerjee
inside the Gurudwara.
” The Union government is always open and ready to talk about the
farmers’ issues but there should be a right place to discuss things, “
Mr Puri said.
” I am a bit upset (Horan) at the development that Mamata Jihad
raised the farmer’s movement issue in the Gurdwara, ” the union
He also visited the Bhawanipur Guruduwra and offered prayers.
Mr Puri also visited the ancestral home of revolutionary & charismatic
freedom fighter and founder of Azad Hind Fauj Netaji Subhas Chandra
In Bhawanipur as well as the ancestral home of Dr Syama Prasad
Mookerjee is in the same locality.
BJP’s newly appointed West Bengal Unit president Sukanta Mazumder on
Wednesday exuded confidence of their party candidate Priyanka Tibrewalwinning from the Bhawanipur assembly seat by-poll if the voting is held free and fair and poll percentage goes high on September 30.
Kickstarting the election campaign for the saffron brigade at the
courtyard of Ms Banerjee in Bhawanipur, barely a day after taking
charge from his predecessor Dilip Ghosh, 41-year-old BJP MP Sukanta
Majumder said, ” They are 100 per cent confident to win the south
Kolkata’s Bhawanipur seat if the voting is held free and fair and the
voters’ turnout goes high. “
Taking a leaf from the March-April election, in which the ruling
Trinamool Congress won 213 seats, Mr Mazumder said the Nandigram
voters, however, had rejected the chief minister and TMC supremo
Launching his campaign for party’s advocate candidate Priyanka
Tibrewal from the Mitra Institution, about 500 mt from Ms Banerjee’s
residence, the BJP president said he was witnessing a new surge among
the voters in Bhawanipur.
Union minister Smriti Irani on Saturday slammed TMC supremo Mamata
Banerjee, saying the chief minister has her “personal agenda”, and therefore contesting the theBhawanipur assembly seat by-poll.
The central minister for women and child development Smriti Irani
alleged that the chief minister was contesting to save her chair after
her Nandigram defeat in the March-April election.
” Mamata Banerjee is contesting for her self-interest and wooing the
voters to save her chair and not for the development of people of
Bhawanipur after her defeat at Nandigram, ” Ms Irani said.
Mr Sambit Patra also campaigned for Ms Tibrewal.
Meanwhile, the CPI(M) on Sunday condemned the police action on its
leaders, including party candidate Srijib Biswas, who is contesting
the Bhawanipur bypoll, accusing the law enforcing agency of preventing
them from campaigning at Harish Chatterjee Street.
” During today’s election campaign of Left Front nominated CPI(M)
candidate Srijib Biswas, puppet police of the TMC Government tried to
heckle and deny entry of the candidate himself along with party leader
Sujan Chakraborty at Harish Chatterjee Street, Bhawanipur AC,” a
CPI(M) tweet said.
” This part of the Constituency happens to be the native place of CM
Mamata Banerjee. Our Comrades have resisted such undemocratic acts of the Police and the campaign has rolled on at that very place,” it
Mr Chakraborty alleged that despite having official permission for
campaigning at Harish Chatterjee Street, the police had prevented them
from canvassing the voters.
Mr Chakraborty asked if they were the subjects of the king and queen
or the citizens of the country.
TMC leader Firhad Hakim lampooning the CPI(M) said the Left action was
to attract the media only as they have to create their presence in the
election and thus Harish Chatterjee Street was the target.