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Cong to refrain from pitching candidate against Mamata: Source

Adhir Chowdhury is expected to make an announcement today as the decision was taken apparently for opposition unity against the Centre

IANS | New Delhi |

The Congress is not in a mood to field candidate against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the larger interest of the Opposition unity, said a party source on Monday. WBPCC chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is likely to make a formal announcement in Kolkata.

During her meeting with Congress High Command Sonia Gandhi recently, Banerjee had emphasised on the importance of Opposition unity to take on the BJP.

After she stormed back to power for the third time, Miss Banerjee has been vehement about a galvanised opposition to oust the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and has visited Delhi and met Sonia Gandhi over the issue. She had joined the Opposition to denounce and censure Centre’s several controversial policies including farm laws, asset monetisation policy and the central government’s alleged attempts to privatise government holdings.

In the recent uproar over the Pegasus snooping allegations, both the House of Parliament have faced spate of protests and chaos leading to adjournments and TMC has been the most visible as Opposition mounted pressure. Miss Banerjee’s government was the first to set up a Pegasus probe committee comprising two retired judges after the list of ‘targets’ revealed included her nephew and TMC Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee and her party’s chief poll strategist Prashant Kishor.

TMC has made a jump from being confined in Bengal to assailing Agartala and the party’s face in the BJP-run state is a former Congress MP Sushmita Dev. Many delegations comprising ministers have undertaken visits to Tripura, where allegedly they were thrashed by BJP-backed goons and detained by police as Abhishek Banerjee asserts that the people of Tripura in the next election will reject Biplab Deb’s government and embrace TMC’s government of development which is currently running several social schemes in Bengal.

Miss Banerjee also enjoys the unwavering support of women and she reciprocated with a scheme ‘Lakshmir Bhandar’ especially for women heads in families. Bhowanipore has with time evolved into her bastion and only some gigantic machinations and astonishing strategies can deny her a victory.

The Election Commission on Saturday announced the date for the by-elections for three Assembly constituencies including Banerjee’s stronghold Bhowanipore. The rest two are Samsergunj and Jangipur in Murshidabad district. The voting in these three constituencies will be held on September 30 and counting is scheduled for October 3.

The by-election in Samsergunj and Jangipur were withheld because of the death of the candidates before polls during the recently concluded Assembly election in West Bengal. On the other hand, by-election in Bhabanipur Assembly constituency necessitated because existing MLA Sovondeb Chattopadhyay resigned from his seat to make a room for Banerjee.

Banerjee lost to the Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram in the recently concluded polls and is still not an elected member of the legislative body.