The campaign for the high-profile Bhabanipur Assembly by-elections is intensifying with each passing day.
In its latest salvo, the BJP on Tuesday alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in her affidavit filed before the Election Commission of India has not given information about the cases filed in Assam against her. A complaint was filed by BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal’s election agent Sajal Ghosh to the returning officer Bhabanipur Assembly Seat alleging discrepancies in Ms Banerjee affidavit.
TMC leader Firhad Hakim, however, said the complaint in Assam was not against Ms. Banerjee but against another person with the same name. A similar complaint was filed by the BJP when Ms. Banerjee was contesting at Nandigram.
During the day the Chief Minister took to social media extending good wishes on the occasion of “Hindi Divas”. A significant population of Bhabanipur are non-Bengali,Hindi speakers and their support will be crucial to the results. Ms Banerjee had started her campaign by addressing a workers meeting at Atindra Manch and visiting the Ekbalpur area.
The Trinamool Congress has brought in heavyweights like Minister Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee to campaign while party MLA Madan Mitra has been campaigning daily in the constituency in south Kolkata.
From the BJP, Ms. Tibrewal’s campaign is being managed by BJP MP Arjun Singh. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh and Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari are also campaigning for her.
While the polls are scheduled on September 30, central armed police forces (CAPF) to be deployed during the polling for the three constituencies ( Bhabanipur, Samserganj and Jangipur) have already started reaching the State. The BJP has demanded that every polling booth should be manned by central armed police forces. About 15 companies of CAPF have reached the State.
While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has represented Bhabanipur in 2011 and 2016 clearly has an edge, the Trinamool Congress is not taking any chances. Earlier this year, the TMC’s Sovandeb Chattopadhyay had defeated the BJP’s Rudranil Ghosh by a margin of about 27,000 votes.
“Bhabanipur was a cake walk for TMC when the elections were announced earlier this month. With TMC’s aggressive campaign by bringing in Ministers and the Chief Minister herself hitting the streets asking for votes the perception that is building that there will be some contest,” Biswanath Chakraborty, political observer and psephologist said.