West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who contested assembly election against Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram and lost, is returning to her traditional seat Bhabanipur or Bhowanipore. Since Banerjee was not elected to the legislative assembly, she needs to contest by-poll or either get elected through the Legislative Council which her cabinet is working to set up. Mamata Banerjee needs to get re-elected to the assembly within six months to hold on to the chief minister’s chair.
West Bengal minister and veteran TMC leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay has contested from the Bhabanipur assembly seat and won defeating BJP’s Rudranil Ghosh. Chattopadhyay has today resigned from the seat, vacating it for Banerjee.
Talking about his resignation, he said that it was a decision of the party. “CM Mamata Banerjee had won twice from Bhawanipore. All party leaders discussed and when I heard that she wanted to contest from here, I thought I should vacate my seat. There’s no pressure on me. Nobody else dares to run a government. I spoke to her and told her that it was her seat and I was just protecting it,” said Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay.
Chattopadhyay has been given agriculture ministry in Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet. The septuagenarian politician is likely to contest from Khardah seat, where a by-poll has been necessitated following the death of TMC’s Kajal Sinha.
Mamata Banerjee had lost Nandigram by 1956 votes. Former TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari, who joined the BJP last year, had emerged as a giant slayer by handing Banerjee the second defeat of her political career.
Despite a high-octane campaign, the BJP could only win 77 seats while Banerjee’s TMC went on to win 213 seats securing a thumping majority. The West Bengal assembly has 294 seats of which 292 went to the polls. Now the election commission will have to hold by-polls in Shamsherganj, Jangipur and Khardaha assembly constituencies.