Exuding confidence over winning the Bhabanipur seat in the upcoming by-polls, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Tuesday said that Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Suvendu Adhikari has defeated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee once and now someone else should be given the chance to defeat her again.
Speaking to ANI, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said, "We held discussions over candidates' names for upcoming by-polls in Bhabanipur and other two assembly constituencies. We will send the names to the Parliamentary committee. The final decision and announcement will be done from there only. After by-polls declaration, the way this government is acting is not right. We will raise this issue before Election Commission today."
Asked if Suvendu Adhikari will be fielded by the party in the Bhabanipur seat, Ghosh said, "We are ready to contest the Bhabanipur seat. We will fight to win. Candidates' announcements will be made by the Parliamentary committee. Whoever be the candidate, the party will support him/her with all might. Suvendu Adhikari has defeated Mamata Banerjee once, now someone else should be given the chance."
Taking a dig at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Suvendu Adhikari jibed about what would happen if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fields him against her in Bhabanipur seat in the upcoming by-elections.
Addressing a public meeting at Nadia on Sunday, Adhikari had said, "You are such a big chief minister! Who told you (Mamata Banerjee) to come to Nandigram? Have I gone to contest from Bhabanipur? Now, if the party asks me to contest from Bhabanipur, then what will happen? I defeated her by 1956 votes. You went to Nandigram, should I come to Bhabanipur in return?"
On Calcutta High Court's order giving interim relief to Suvendu Adhikari from arrests, Ghosh said, "There was no case against Suvendu babu when he was in TMC. After he joined BJP, a proceeding has been initiated...It seems a conspiracy is being hatched to get him arrested, which is why I feel the court has ordered interim protection for him."
Earlier today, a meeting of the West Bengal unit of BJP was held in the party's state headquarters in Kolkata regarding the candidate for Bhabanipur by-elections.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Suvendu Adhikari, state co-in-charge Amit Malviya, party MP Sukanta Majumdar and state general secretary (organisation) Amitava Chakraborty were present in the meeting. BJP leader Rahul Sinha was also there.
A BJP delegation will meet the Election Commission (EC) today evening regarding the by-polls.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday made an official announcement that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will contest from the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency. Further, TMC leaders Jakir Hossain and Amirul Islam are made party's candidates from Jangipur and Samserganj seats respectively.
This came after Election Commission on Saturday announced to hold by-elections to three assembly seats in West Bengal on September 30. The counting of votes will take place on October 3.
Notably, Mamata Banerjee was defeated by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari in the Nandigram assembly constituency.
Following this, the Bhabanipur assembly seat was vacated by West Bengal Agriculture Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May, making way for the West Bengal Chief Minister to contest from the seat.
Winning the seat is crucial for Banerjee if she has to remain the chief minister of the state.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC registered a landslide victory in polls winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. The BJP lost the polls but emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats.