Bhabanipur Bypoll: EC announces date; know full schedule of poll that will decide Mamata Banerjee’s fate

Mamata Banerjee has time till the first week of November to get elected to the West Bengal assembly.

Mamata Banerjee needed to get elected to West Bengal Assembly within six months of taking over the post of chief minister.

The Election Commission has today announced the schedule for the much-awaited Bhabanipur bypoll which is crucial for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Notably, Mamata Banerjee became chief minister of Bengal despite losing the Nandigram election in the straight contest against her protege-turned-foe Suvendu Adhikari. Since there is no bicameral arrangement – Legislative assembly and Legislative council – in Bengal like Uttar Pradesh or Bihar, she needs to get elected within six months of taking over the post. Banerjee has time till the first week of November to get elected to the West Bengal assembly.

The Election Commission today said that the by-elections to the Bhabinipur Assembly constituency from where Mamata Banerjee intends to contest will be held on September 30.

Bhabinipur Assembly Bypoll Full Schedule

Date of Issue of Gazette Notification: 06.09.2021
Last Date of Nominations: 13.09.2021
Date for Scrutiny of Nominations: 14.09.2021
Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures: 16.09.2021
Date of Poll: 30.09.2021
Date of Counting: 03.10.2021

“As on date, there are three deferred adjourned polls (two in the state of West Bengal and one in the state of Odisha), three vacancies in Parliamentary Constituencies and 32 vacancies in Legislative Assemblies of various States/UT,” said EC in its notification.

The ECI said that after taking into consideration the inputs and views of the Chief Secretaries of the concerned States and respective Chief Electoral Officers, the Commission has decided not to hold bye-elections in other 31 Assembly Constituencies and 3 Parliamentary Constituencies. It added that considering the constitutional exigency and special request from State of West Bengal, it has decided to hold bye-election in 159- Bhabanipur AC.

“Further, the Commission has also decided to hold polls in 3 Assembly Constituencies namely 56-Samserganj, 58- Jangipur of West Bengal and 1 Assembly Constituency 110-Pipli of Odisha where the adjourned poll was deferred vide Commission’s notification 4th May, 2021, as per the schedule given in Annexure- 2. Separate notifications are being issued in this regard. The candidates/political parties for these 3 ACs have already availed the campaign period from 29.04.2021 to 03.05.2021. In view of this, the Commission has now decided to allow the campaign from 20.09.2021 only in these constituencies,” said the EC.

With the announcement of the bypoll dates, the Model code of conduct has come into force in the concerned constituencies.

The ECI has also restricted public meeting to 30 per cent of the allowed capacity or 200 persons in case of indoor meeting, whichever is less and has asked candidates to maintain a register. In case of outdoor meeting, it has been restricted to 50 per cent of the ground capacity. “With 50% of capacity (as per Covid-19 guidelines) or 1000 in the case of Star Campaigners and 50% of the capacity or 500 in all other cases. In either case, the allowed number is whichever is less. The entire area will be cordoned off and will be guarded by the police. The count of people entering the ground will be monitored,” said the EC.

Schedule for polls in 56-Samserganj & 58- Jangipur Assembly Constituencies in West Bengal and 110-Pipli AC in Odisha
Date of Poll: 30.09.2021
Date of Counting: 03.10.2021
Date before which election shall be completed: 05.10.2021

Number of Star Campaigners has also been restricted to 20 for recognized parties and 10 for un-recognized parties. “No Roadshow shall be allowed and No Motor/Bike/Cycle rallies to be allowed,” said the poll commission. The silence period has been increased to 72 hours before the end of poll.

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