The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday announced that lawyer Priyanka Tibrewal will contest against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the Bhabanipur bye-polls to be held on September 30.
Banerjee, who is the chief of the Trinamool Congress, needs to get elected as an MLA in order to continue as chief minister. The TMC had announced her candidature on September 5.
The BJP has also announced Milan Ghosh its candidate for the Assembly elections in Samserganj and Sujit Das its nominee from Jangipur.
While the election in Jangipur was deferred due to the death of United Front candidate Pradip Nandi, the elections in Samserganj was postponed after Congress candidate Rezaul Haque died. Both of them had died due to Covid-19.
Tibrewal was the legal adviser to former Union minister Babul Supriyo. She joined the BJP in 2014 at Supriyo’s insistence, according to NDTV.
Tibrewal was also one of the petitioners who approached the Calcutta High Court in connection with the post-poll violence, The Indian Express reported.
The High Court had ordered an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into allegations of murder, rape and crimes against women in connection with the violence. It had also directed a Special Investigation Team to look into all other cases related to the violence.
Banerjee had won the Bhabanipur seat in the 2011 and 2016 Assembly elections. However, in this year’s polls, she contested from the Nandigram seat in an apparent bid to challenge Suvendu Adhikari, who had defected to the BJP ahead of the polls.
Banerjee lost to Adhikari by a margin of 1,956 votes, though she alleged fraud in vote counting.
On May 22, senior TMC leader Shobhandeb Chattopadhyay, who won from Bhabanipur, resigned as an MLA to enable Banerjee to contest from there.
On Tuesday, the Congress said that it will not field a candidate against Banerjee. The chief of the Congress’ West Bengal unit Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that contesting the bye-polls “may indirectly help the BJP in some way and the high command does not want to do that”.