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Bhawanipore MLA quits, paves way for Mamata’s entry to Assembly

Trinamool Congress leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay submitted his resignation

Senior Trinamool Congress leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay on Friday tendered his resignation from Bhawanipore Assembly constituency in Kolkata, triggering speculation that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee may contest byelections from the constituency in next few months.

Ms. Banerjee had represented Bhawanipore in 2011 and 2016. In the 2021 Assembly polls, however, she chose to contest from Nandigram and lost by a narrow margin 1,956 votes to the former TMC leader, who moved to the BJP, Suvendu Adhikari.

Since May 2, when the TMC registered its biggest victories, winning 213 seats in the 294 member house, there has been speculation of Ms. Banerjee contesting from Bhawanipore again. On Friday afternoon Mr. Chattopadhyay tendered his resignation to Speaker Biman Banerjee.

He was accompanied by senior Trinamool Congress leaders Partha Chatterjee and Subrata Bakshi. During the election campaign, the Trinamool Congress chairperson had on several occasions referred about the sentiments of people of Bhawanipore, who she said wanted her to contest from the seat. The Chief Minister’s residence at 30-B Harish Chatterjee Street falls in the constituency.

In 2011, when the Trinamool Congress government was elected to power for the first time, Ms Banerjee had entered the State Assembly after winning a bypoll from Bhawanipore. The then MLA from Bhawanipore Subrata Bakshi had vacated the constituency 10 tears ago.

Meanwhile, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay who gave up his Assembly membership today is also a cabinet minister in the Trinamool Congress government. The State government has already accepted a proposal to set up a State Legislative Council or Vidhan Parishad to nominate Ministers to the council, who are not MLAs.

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