- By-poll election for Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to remain as the CM of the state is to be held on September 30
- Mamata Banerjee has asked for Adhikari’s election to be declared void on three grounds – commission of corrupt practices, seeking of votes on basis of religion, and booth capture
- There is a high possibility that Mamata Banerjee might just become the third CM in history to lose the by-polls.
The crucial by-poll election for Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to remain as the CM of the state is to be held on September 30 and, the counting of votes will be on October 3. Keeping in mind the post-poll violence in the state, things do not seem to be in her favour, Mamata might just be the third CM in history to lose the by-poll.
(Source: TFI post)
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Sunday announced the by-poll in West Bengal’s Bhabinipur Assembly constituency. The seat has been vacant since May 21, after Banerjee’s TMC party leader MLA Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay resigned from the seat. As per the rule, Mamata Banerjee will have to become an MLA within six months after the formation of the government. According to Article 164 of the constitution, “a minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.”
In the 2021 West Bengal assembly election, Banerjee lost the Nandigram seat to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari. She was defeated by almost 2,000 votes, the result of which has been challenged in the Calcutta High Court. Mamata Banerjee has asked for Adhikari’s election to be declared void on three grounds – commission of corrupt practices, seeking of votes on basis of religion, and booth capture. She has also questioned the Election Commission’s decision to reject her plea for a recount. As reported by TFI earlier, Bhawanipur constitutes more than 70 per cent of the non-Bengalis and a majority of the Gujarati population who do not seem to see her as their representative but Mamata has a hard time accepting this fact. This is not the first time in the recent past that a sitting CM has lost the election and the party has gone on to form the government.
The Bengal government has insisted its by-polls be held, submitted that the pandemic is under control in West Bengal and elections should be conducted. The government’s push for the by-polls has been criticised by the BJP; last month state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh asked Mamata why she was “in such a hurry”.
However, by-polls in 31 other constituencies in Maharashtra, Telangana and a few northeastern states have been delayed amidst the Covid situation. “After taking into consideration the inputs and views of Chief Secretaries of the concerned states, and the respective Chief Electoral Officers, the Commission has decided not to hold by-polls in other 31 Assembly constituencies and 3 Parliamentary constituencies,” the Commission added.
In 1970, former Uttar Pradesh CM Tribhuvan Narayan Singh had lost by-poll and had to subsequently resign. Back in 2009, Jharkhand CM Shibu Soren too lost in a by-poll, perhaps the second time an incumbent CM has lost in a by-poll. Soren’s defeat had resulted in the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.
Mamata Banerjee’s loss in Nandigram to her former protégé-turned-BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, while her party won a landslide victory in the state, is probably the biggest anti-climax in this round of Assembly polls. In such a situation, the question arises; whether Mamta will repeat history like Tribhuvan Narayan Singh or Shibu Soren, who lost the by-poll election while still being the Chief Minister. Moreover, with the ongoing CBI investigation, the wounds of post-poll violence in the state are still fresh, people of West Bengal saw Mamata’s dark side and are yet not over it. After losing to Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram, there is a high possibility that Mamata Banerjee might just become the third CM in history to lose the by-polls.