By-election: Abhishek set to campaign in Dinhata today

By-election: Abhishek set to campaign in Dinhata today

KOLKATA: Last-minute preparations for Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee's rally at Dinhata were in full swing on Sunday. As part of the campaign for the forthcoming by-election in the Assembly constituency in Cooch Behar district, Abhishek will address a rally at Dinhata—which would go to polls on October 30—on Monday.

Udayan Guha of Trinamool Congress (TMC) has been fielded against BJP's Ashok Mondol in the by-election. The seat fell vacant after BJP candidate Nisith Pramanick, who had defeated Guha by 57 votes in the 2021 Assembly election, did not take oath as an MLA. Pramanick is now the Union minister of state Home Affairs.

There are about 2,98,080 voters in Dinhata, of which 1,53,924 are male electorates and 1,44,156 are women voters. There are at least 147 polling stations in Dinhata.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders and supporters are working round the clock to ensure the victory of Guha. Guha is the son of late Kamal Guha, an undisputed leader of Forward Bloc in Dinhata and former state Agriculture minister. Guha was elected in 2011 on Forward Bloc's ticket. He later switched over to TMC in 2015. He was elected in 2016 from Dinhata.

Sources said people in the constituency were eagerly waiting to hear Abhishek Banerjee's speech. Cut-outs of Banerjee had been put up at all important intersections.

Political experts said people in Dinhata were upset with BJP as Pramanick did not take oath as an MLA. Many BJP party leaders and workers had joined Trinamool Congress after the announcement of the state Assembly election result earlier this year. Experts claimed that the saffron party did not put up any serious show to retain the seat.

The women voters will play an important role in the by-election, political experts added. Unlike the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 Assembly elections, the issues of infighting in TMC had been ironed out. The party has set up a new district committee, comprising both old guards and new leaders.

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