New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The by-election in Bhabanipur Assembly Constituency in West Bengal will be held on September 30, the Election Commission said on Saturday. The Election Commission also informed that polls will also be held in Samserganj and Jangipur of West Bengal and Pipli (Odisha) on the same date. The counting of votes will be taken up on October 3.

Amid the ongoing political tensions between BJP and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, the announcement by the Election Commission of India has again compelled both the main parties to initiate debate for the by-polls.

The elections in Samsergunj and Jangipur were withheld because of the death of the candidates before the polls during the recently concluded assembly election in West Bengal. On the other hand, a bye-election in the Bhabanipur assembly constituency is scheduled because the existing MLA Sovondeb Chattopadhyay resigned to make room for chief minister Mamata 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.

Why is the Bhabanipur By-poll a must-win for Mamata Banerjee?

In the West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021, Mamata Banerjee had moved out of her traditional Bhabanipur seat to fight in Nandigram during the Assembly polls earlier this year but lost to her former close aide Suvendhu Adhikari who contested on a BJP ticket. It is probably for the first time that a chief minister lost her seat in an Assembly Elections.

According to the Constitution of India, the winning party can appoint anybody as the chief minister or a minister or even a prime minister without being a legislator or a Member of Parliament. However, it mandates that the person should be elected within six months of appointment. According to Article 164(4) of the Constitution, “A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.”

With six months ending on November 5, the Bhabanipur by-poll becomes a must-win for Mamata Banerjee if she wants to continue as the CM of the state. Meanwhile, the chief minister had already set up a stage for her win with the resignation of existing MLA Sovondeb Chattopadhyay paving the way for her. However, if Mamata Banerjee fails to win the by-election, then she has to resign from the CM's position.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan