In the Bhabanipur byelection, which is scheduled to take place on 30 September, the Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded lawyer Priyanka Tibrewal against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is contesting the election after she lost from the Nandigram Assembly seat to the BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari earlier in May.
Tibrewal, a legal adviser to former Union Minister Babul Supriyo, had contested the Bengal election in April-May but had lost to her Trinamool Congress rival. Tibrewal is a well-known name in Bengal politics, especially now. On 19 August, the Calcutta High Court directed the CBI to probe the allegations of murder, rape and unnatural deaths during the post-poll violence in the state. Tibrewal was the main advocate for the BJP in the case. Since then the BJP has started calling her a “fighter” and thinks that she can give a close fight to the CM, even though Bhabanipur is considered a safe seat for Mamata Banerjee.
Banerjee kickstarted her campaign from a workers’ meeting on Wednesday. “Looking at 2024, it will be a big game,” she said in that meeting. She added that after the Bhabanipur byelection, there is a municipal election, where too the TMC will emerge victorious.
On Friday, Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “We think the atmosphere of violence in the state is at the behest of the Chief Minister. And Priyanka has the responsibility to protect the helpless BJP workers. She succeeded. She will also get success in the polls. Because Mamata means violence and Priyanka means protest against violence. This will be promoted in the Bhabanipur by-election.”
Speaking to a news agency, Tibrewal said, “Bhabanipur nijer meyekei chaay (Bhabanipur wants its own daughter). I was born in Bhabanipur, Mamata was not born in Bhabanipur. People had given the mandate to someone from TMC in Bhabanipur, but Mamata Banerjee decided to remove him as she wanted to contest. This is the condition of democracy here. They have no respect for people’s thoughts and votes.” She thus echoed Mamata’s campaign that “Bangla nijer meyekei chaay (Bengal wants it own daughter, not outsiders).”
Sreejib Biswas has been fielded by the CPM as its candidate in Bhabanipur.