Mamata likely to contest from Bhabanipur constituency, sitting MLA to vacate seat

Mamata likely to contest from Bhabanipur constituency, sitting MLA to vacate seat

Banerjee, who lost the recently concluded polls from Nandigram, needs to get elected to the assembly within six months

West Bengal agriculture minister and veteran TMC leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay vacated the Bhabanipur assembly seat on Friday, paving way for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to contest bypoll from her old bastion, party sources said.

Banerjee, who lost the recently concluded polls from Nandigram, needs to get elected to the assembly within six months to hold on to the chief minister's chair.

TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, however, refused to divulge anything on Banerjee's re-election, and said the party will come up with a statement at an appropriate time.

Chattopadhyay tendered his resignation to Assembly speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay in the presence of senior party leader and his ministerial colleague Partha Chatterjee.

Before leaving for the state legislature, he told PTI that he would happily abide by the party's decision.

"I am going to resign as the MLA of Bhabanipur seat. This is my decision as well as that of the party. I am happily abiding by it," the agriculture minister said.

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The speaker, on his part, said, "Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay has resigned from the Bhabanipur seat voluntarily. I have accepted his resignation letter after confirming that he has taken the decision on his own without any pressure or threat."

A section of party members speculated that the septuagenarian politician might be fielded from the Khardah seat, where bypoll has been necessitated following the death of party leader Kajal Sinha due to COVID-19.

There are others who claimed that Chattopadhyay might be nominated to Rajya Sabha.

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