Bhowanipore by-election: Cong not to field candidate; 'walkover' for Mamata likely

Bhowanipore by-election: Cong not to field candidate; walkover for Mamata likely

KOLKATA: With the BJP still scouting for a 'heavyweight' to take on Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson Mamata Banerjee in the Bhowanipore bypolls and the Congress not fielding a nominee for the constituency, speculations are rife that the ruling party supremo—who is TMC's Bhowanipore candidate—may get a walkover. The last date of filing the nomination is September 13.

The AICC on Tuesday decided not to field any candidate in Bhowanipore Assembly constituency and has conveyed its message in this regard to Adhir Chowdhury, PCC chief in Bengal. Chowdhury held a Press conference in Murshidabad and announced his party's stand of not placing any candidate from Bhowanipore in the by-election.

Chowdhury on Monday had said that his party is likely to field candidates from Bhowanipore and names of the nominees would be sent to AICC for its approval.

Dilip Ghosh, president state BJP, said the party would field a 'heavyweight' candidate in Bhowanipore. However, he could not name the candidate as the saffron party's central leadership in Delhi had got some names and they were yet to finalise the candidate. It was learnt from reliable sources that the saffron party had approached Rudranil Ghosh, who had contested the 2021 Assembly election from the same constituency.

He was defeated by Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay of Trinamool Congress by over 25,000 votes. Sources claimed that Ghosh had refused to contest the bypolls on personal grounds. According to the sources, the state BJP unit had also approached Tathagata Roy, former state president of BJP, to contest the bypolls. "He too refused to become a candidate," added sources.

Adhir Chowdhury, PCC president on Monday, had said Congress would field a candidate in Bhowanipore and some names would be given to AICC for its consideration. It was learnt that till Tuesday no names had been sent to AICC. The Congress candidate, Md Sahadab Khan, got only 5,211 votes in 2021 Assembly election from Bhowanipore.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress is gearing up to ensure a grand victory for Mamata Banerjee. Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, state Agriculture minister—who was elected from Bhowaniore Assembly seat in 2021 and later resigned to make room for Banerjee— wrote poll graffiti in her favour on Tuesday. He said Banerjee would win by a record margin. Schemes like Duare Sarkar, Paray Samadhan and Lakshmir Bhandar have received overwhelming response from the people. Banerjee will meet the party workers at Ahindra Mancha on Wednesday.

TMC has also announced names of the leaders, who will campaign for Banerjee.

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