Bhabanipur bypoll: Priyanka Tibrewal files papers, says BJP will contest with ‘heart & soul’

The election, in which Priyanka Tibrewal is up against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, is scheduled for September 30.

The BJP’s Bhabanipur by-poll candidate Priyanka Tibrewal on Monday filed her nomination papers, and said the party would contest the election “with our heart and soul”. The election, in which she is up against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, is scheduled for September 30.

BJP MLA and the Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, MP Arjun Singh, senior party leader Dinesh Trivedi, and actor Rudranil Ghosh, who unsuccessfully contested the Assembly polls on a BJP ticket from Bhabanipur earlier this year, accompanied Tibrewal to Survey Building in south Kolkata as she submitted her papers.

“Every fight is fought and we will contest this time with our heart and soul. The people of Bhabanipur has got the opportunity to do what their counterpart in Nandigram did earlier this year. All I can say is that the people of Bhabanipur will create history in this by-poll,” said Tibrewal. She was referring to Mamata Banerjee’s electoral defeat at the hands of Adhikari in Purba Medinipur district’s Nandigram seat by 1,956 votes. Banerjee is contesting the by-poll to retain her chair.

“This time our slogan is ‘Save Bengal’ and ‘stop violence in the state’. Mamata Banerjee is contesting this election to save her seat. She does not want any other person to sit in her chair,” added the BJP candidate who was among those who moved court following the declaration of the election results to call for an investigation into alleged post-poll violence by the Trinamool Congress (TMC). She represented some of the victims of the alleged violence, and was instrumental in ensuring a probe by the Central Bureau of InvestigCBI probe in incidents of rape and murder.

Adhikari told reporters, “If people are allowed to exercise their franchise and booths are not rigged then the BJP will win this by-poll. This young lawyer [Tibrewal] has fought against the state government [in court] and ensured justice to families affected by post-poll violence. This time too she will win. Democracy will win.”

Reacting to the BJP leaders’ comments, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said, “They filed nomination papers in such a manner [large gathering] that is bound to have violated the Election Commission guidelines. But we will not let them turn Bhabanipur into Gorakhpur. We will not let them divide the people on the basis of caste, creed and religion. There will be no religious polarisation in this by-poll. In the last Assembly election, more than 50 per cent of people did not vote for the BJP. It will be the same this time as well.”

Meanwhile, Left Front candidate Shreejib Biswas of the CPI(M) also submitted his
nomination papers.

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