Kolkata: The West Bengal government on July 2 urged the Election Commission (EC) of India to conduct pending bypolls in the state as soon as possible, as it gave assurance that all coronavirus norms will be followed during the process.
Out of the seven seats where reelections are set to be held, Bhawanipore is the one that might attract significant attention amid talks that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who lost from Nandigram, may be contesting the bypoll from the constituency.
Bhawanipore also happens to be Mamata’s home turf. State minister and senior TMC leader Sovandeb Chattopadhyay recently vacated the seat.
The Mamata Banerjee-led Bengal government, in its response to a letter by the EC on the possibility of holding bypolls to two vacant Rajya Sabha seats at this juncture, has claimed that it was “fully prepared”, official sources said.
In the above-mentioned letter, the WB government also urged the poll panel to conduct the assembly byelections as early as possible.
On June 23, Mamata Banerjee, who needs to get elected to the assembly within six months to retain her chair, had told reporters that bypolls due in the state could be held within seven days as the COVID-19 situation in the country is currently “under control”.
Polls were countermanded in Jangipur and Samserganj following the death of candidates due to COVID-19.
In Dinhata and Santipur, the winning BJP nominees quit as MLAs as they wanted to retain parliamentary berths.
In Gosaba, the TMC candidate, who won the elections, succumbed to COVID-19.
Two Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant in the state after Dinesh Trivedi quit the membership of the Upper House in February this year, having switched to the BJP from the TMC, and Manas Bhuniya’s election as an MLA in the March-April Assembly polls.