KOLKATA: Barely four months after a high-pitched electoral battle in the Assembly polls, mercury in West Bengal politics is soaring yet again as CM Mamata Banerjee is all set to contest from the Bhowanipore constituency on September 30 to get elected as an MLA and continue her term.
The slogan ‘Khela Hobe‘ (there will be a game)—coined by Mamata —has returned to the poll graffiti in the south Kolkata constituency.
Minister Firhad Hakim and MLA Madan Mitra took to the streets to paint the walls in support of their party supremo.
The by-election is said to be crucial to Mamata as she lost to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram and she has a deadline till November 5 to get elected as an MLA.
“My leader Smt @MamataOficial has been the MLA of Bhawanipur twice earlier. This time she is again going to be the MLA of this area! In the excitement of the run up to the elections, we stepped out on the streets painting walls in our locality to show our support. #AbarKhelaHobe,” Hakim tweeted.
The Bengal chief minister took her upcoming electoral battle seriously and she cancelled her North Bengal visit shortly after the announcement of the by-election on Saturday.
Mamata was elected twice in 2011 and 2016 from Bhowanipore but she decided to take on her former lieutenant Suvendu Adhikari, who defected to the BJP, in Nandigram.
Though the area in East Midnapore district is a strong bastion of the TMC, Mamata lost by 1,737 votes because of the Adhikari family’s sway in the district.
Though the BJP said it would give Mamata a tough fight in Bhowanipur as the constituency has more than 20 per cent non-Bengal electorates which the saffron camp considers its vote-bank, the TMC effused confidence banking on the consolidation of Bengali-speaking voters.
Giant flexes and posters displaying Mamata’s photograph have already been put up along the Harish Mukherjee Road the locality of the chief minister’s residence.
“Wining from Bhowanipore will not at all be tough for the chief minister. Women electorates will extend their support as they did in the Assembly elections and Bengali speaking voters already rejected BJP’s narrative and Hindutva rhetoric,” said a TMC leader in Bhowanipore.