The Congress on Tuesday said it will not field a candidate against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the Bhabanipur bye-polls to be held on September 30, reported NDTV.
Party chief of the West Bengal unit Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that contesting the bye-polls “may indirectly help the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] in some way and the high command does not want to do that”.
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Banerjee needs to win the bye-elections to get elected as an MLA in order to continue as the chief minister. The results of the bye-polls will be announced on October 3.
While the Trinamool Congress had registered a landslide victory in the state Assembly polls in May, winning 213 of the 294 seats, Banerjee had lost the Nandigram seat to BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari by a margin of 1,956 votes. She later alleged fraud in vote counting.
According to Article 164(4) of the Constitution, individuals can take oath as a minister even if they are not MLAs, but will have to get elected within a period of six months after being sworn in. Banerjee took oath as the chief minister on May 5.
As she needs to get elected to continue as the chief minister, Banerjee decided to contest from Bhabanipur constituency, which she won in the 2011 and 2016 elections. To…