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Congress to contest upcoming bypolls in Bengal

Congress is annoyed with the TMC’s strategy to induce defection in the party. Two senior leaders — former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Falerio and Sushmita Dev have already joined the TMC.

SNS | New Delhi |

After the victory of Trinamool Congress in recent by-elections in West Bengal, now the Congress party has decided to contest the next polls in the state to be held on October 30.

The four seats going for by-polls in West Bengal are Santipur (Nadia), Dinhata (Cooch Behar), Khardaha (North 24 Parganas), and Gosaba (South 24 Parganas).

The Congress, miffed after poaching of its leaders by the TMC in the state and outside of it, met here on Wednesday and decided to contest the upcoming by-elections. The meeting was attended by West Bengal leaders and AICC office bearers, and it’s likely that candidates will be announced ahead of the last day of nomination, which is on October 8.

Congress is annoyed with the TMC’s strategy to induce defection in the party. Two senior leaders — former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Falerio and Sushmita Dev have already joined the TMC.

Bypolls to Dinhata and Santipur constituencies are necessitated as two sitting BJP MPs — Nisith Pramanik and Jagannath Sarkar — resigned from the respective seats after winning them in the Assembly polls earlier this year. Bypolls to Khardaha and Gosaba are being held following the death of TMC MLAs.

In the recent by-polls in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress won all three seats. The Congress did not field candidates and gave a walkover to Mamata Banerjee and her party.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee secured 84,709 votes, decisively defeating BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal who secured 26,350 votes in the make-or-break Bhabanipur poll, while CPI-M’s Shreejib Biwas managed to get only 4,201 votes. In Jangipur and Samserganj too, the Trinamool won with a comfortable margin.

The Congress, which did not contest Bhabanipur, was the second-largest party with 44 MLAs in the assembly after the 2016 polls but now has none and just one Lok Sabha and one Rajya Sabha MP from the state.

The Election Commission has already announced bypoll in Bhabanipur and deferred election in Shamshergunj and Jangipur on September 30.

(with inputs from IANS)