New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Paving a way for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to contest from Bhawanipur seat, sitting MLA, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, on Friday tendered his resignation from the seat to the Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee. With the resignation, Mamata Banerjee is likely to contest the by-poll from the Bhawanipur seat, which she gave up in favour of challenging her former aide Suvendu Adhikari from the Nandigram seat for the West Bengal Assembly Elections.

Banerjee had in the last two assembly elections contested and won from the Bhawanipur seat but this time she decided to contest from Nandigram in East Midnapore against turncoat Suvendu Adhikari. Banerjee was, however, defeated by Adhikari by over 1,700 votes.

Though Banerjee was sworn in as the chief minister of the state, according to the rule she will have to become an MLA within six months after the formation of the government. Article 164 of the constitution says a minister who is not an MLA within six months has to resign.

Party sources indicated that Banerjee expressed her willingness to contest from Bhawanipur and so Chattopadhyay who is now the state agriculture minister has been asked to resign from that seat. However, Chattopadhyay is likely to continue as a cabinet minister and is likely to contest from the Khardah seat, where a by-poll has been necessitated following the death of party leader Kajal Sinha.

Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, while tendering his resignation, as quoted by ANI, said that "CM had won twice from Bhawanipore. All party leaders discussed and when I heard she wants to contest from here, I thought I should vacate my seat, there's no pressure. Nobody else has the courage to run govt. I spoke to her. It was her seat I was just protecting it".

Mamata Banerjee, just ahead of the West Bengal Assembly Elections when Suvendhu Adhikari joined the BJP, had announced that she will contest from Nandigram instead of Bhawanipur, the seat on which she won the 2011 and 2016 Assembly polls in West Bengal. Mamata Banerjee is also a voter in the Bhawanipore seat.

"I will contest from Nandigram. Nandigram is my lucky place. Nandigram is my big sister, Bhawanipore is my younger sister. I will fight from both if possible. In case I am unable to contest from Bhawanipore, someone else will contest," Banerjee had said at that time.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan