Madan Mitra set to make political comeback as Bhatpara candidate
Kolkata: Madan Mitra, Trinamool Congress leader and former state Transport minister, is set to contest in the Assembly by-election from Bhatpara.
The Bhatpara seat fell vacant after Arjun Singh resigned from the party and joined BJP. Singh is contesting the Lok Sabha election from the Barrackpore seat, where election will be held on May 6.
Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee announced Mitra's name from an election meeting in Suri on Thursday, along with the names of three party nominees who will contest in the by-elections from Habibpur (ST), Islampur and Darjeeling seats.
The by-election in these seats will be held on May 19, whereas by-election in Nowda and Kandi seats in Murshidabad will be held on May 20. The results of all the five seats will be announced on May 23, along with the results of the Lok Sabha polls.
Mitra was elected from the Kamarhati Assembly seat in 2016. The leader allegedly got involved in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam and resigned from the Transport minister's post on November 18, 2015. The CBI had arrested him on December 12, 2014, in connection with the case.
After his name was announced as candidate, a visibly happy Mitra said: "I am grateful to Mamata Banerjee for giving me the opportunity to serve the people again." Asked whether the by-election in Bhatpara seat will be very tough as it is the area of Arjun Singh, he said: "I will go to the people and urge them to cast their vote in Trinamool's favour."
Mitra became an MLA after he won the by-election from the Bishnupur West seat in 2009. Though out of power, Mitra kept in constant touch with the clubs and people of Kamarhati and other areas and his popularity and close contact with the people have helped him to get a nomination for the by-election.
The Darjeeling seat fell vacant after sitting Trinamool MLA Amar Singh Rai was made a candidate for the Lok Sabha seat. Binay Tamang will contest from the Darjeeling Assembly seat as a GJM candidate and Trinamool Congress will support him.
Amal Kisku will contest from the Habibpur (ST) seat, while Abdul Karim Chowdhury will contest from the Islampur seat. Chowdhury was the state Library minister in Mamata Banerjee's government from 2011-16. He lost the election in 2016. The Islampur seat fell vacant after Kanaia Lal Agarwal, the sitting MLA, contested from the Raiganj Lok Sabha seat.
The Kandi seat fell vacant after MLA Apurba Sarkar was nominated from the Berhampur Lok Sabha seat, whereas the Habibpur seat fell vacant after CPI(M) MLA Khagen Murmu left the party and contested from the Malda North seat on a BJP ticket.