West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to contest the bypoll from Bhabanipur assembly seat as Trinamool Congress leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay vacated his seat from which he contested and won in this election.
Mamata Banerjee lost the recently concluded elections from Nandigram where she contested against BJP's Suvendu Adhikari, while her party decimated the BJP. In such a scenario, she will have to get reelected to the assembly to retain her chief ministership.
"I have resigned as the MLA of Bhabanipur seat. I have tendered my resignation. This is my decision as well as that of the party. I am happily abiding by it," Chattopadhyay was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
He also said that he was just merely protecting the seat and highlighted that the chief minister had earlier won twice from the constituency. "The chief minister had twice won from Bhabanipur. All party leaders held a discussion and when I heard that she wants to contest from here, I thought I should vacate my seat. There is no pressure. Nobody else has the courage to run the government. I have spoken to her. It was her seat and I was just protecting it," Sobhandeb said.
West Bengal assembly speaker Biman Banerjee said that he has spoken to Chattopadhyay and ensured that he was not coerced into taking the decision. "I have enquired from him if he has resigned voluntarily and without coercion. I am satisfied and have accepted his resignation," the Bengal assembly speaker was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Chattopadhyay is likely to contest from Khardah assembly constituency as a bypoll has been necessitated following the death of party leader Kajal Sinha, people familiar with the developments told news agency PTI.