As the West Bengal by-elections in three constituencies come nearer and CM Mamata Banerjee preps to her seat in the Legislative assembly. The BJP has decided to put up a fight.
The Bharatiya Janata Party revealed that the party will be fielding advocate and vice-president of the party’s youth wing in West Bengal, Priyanka Tibrewal to take on CM Banerjee from the Bhabanipur constituency, which has been the CM’s traditional seat until the last election where she ran from Nandigram.
Priyanka Tibrewal was one of the petitioners in the post-poll violence case in the Calcutta high court, which ultimately resulted in the High court ordering a CBI probe, which was again challenged by the incumbent TMC government at the apex court of India.
TIbrewal, who by profession is a lawyer, came to the political mainstream after she advocated for an independent inquiry into the violence unleashed after the WB Assembly elections.
Her relation with the Bharatiya Janata party started as the legal advisor to BJP MP Babul Supriyo, who then insisted she join the party in 2014. Since 2020, she has been serving as the vice-president of the youth wing of BJP in West Bengal and has been an active young leader for the party.
It is Priyanka Tibrewal’s second shot for an assembly seat. She did contest the 2021 Assembly election from the constituency of Entally but lost to her Trinamool Congress counterpart by over 58,000 votes.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee also filed her candidacy from the Bhabanipur constituency, on Friday. While the TMC prepares to win the by-elections, and win their leader a seat. Veteran party leaders have already been asked to take charge of the campaign in various civic bodies and councillors have been asked to spend more time tending to the needs of their wards.
The Trinamool Congress leader needs to win the by-election to retain her position as the Chief Minister of Bengal. Even though TMC won the assembly elections in April with a sweeping margin, winning 214 of 292 seats, Mamata Banerjee failed to win a close battle in Nandigram, losing by 1,956 votes to Suvendu Adhikari.
There are 206,389 electors in the Bhabanipur constituency, 95,143 female electors, which is around 46 per cent. It has a large Sikh and Gujaratis population. But the Bengali middle class does dominate the region.
The area located in the heart of south Kolkata had been a Congress stronghold, but later became the TMC’s Citadel, since the CM’s house at Kalighat is located within the constituency and Mamata Banerjee has won from the constituency both in 2011 and in 2016.
In 2021 as well TMC’s Sovandeb Chatterjee won the seat but later vacated the seat for CM Banerjee to win it.
Apart from BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal, Mamata Banerjee will have to face advocate Srijib Biswas from the Left front to win the seat. While Congress has not fielded any candidate in the constituency.
-Supratik Mitra (10/09/21)