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Pranab seat bypoll on October 10

Calcutta, Sept. 5: The by-election to the Jangipur Lok Sabha seat, which Pranab Mukherjee vacated after becoming President, will be held on October 10, the election commission announced today.

Mukherjee had won the seat in 2004 and 2009. His elder son and the Congress MLA from Nalhati, Abhijit Mukherjee, is keen to contest the seat and has sought the support of Behrampore MP Adhir Chowdhury.

Trinamul sources said Mamata Banerjee was yet to decide whether to leave the seat for the Congress or put up a candidate.

Trinamul district president Mohammad Ali said: “We are confident about winning the seat. Trinamul can contest any election on its own anywhere in Bengal. We will appeal to the state leadership to nominate a candidate.”

Trinamul’s all-India general secretary and railway minister Mukul Roy indicated tonight that Trinamul might not go for a confrontation with the Congress over the Jangipur seat.

“It is too early to say anything. We are in the government and we are a part of the UPA. This has to be kept in mind before a decision is taken,” Roy said.

Chowdhury said the Congress would not part with the Jangipur seat. “We will contest the seat. Abhijit is the only person, so far, who has expressed the wish to contest the seat. The final decision will be taken by the AICC. We will follow the high command’s instructions,” he said.

State Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya said: “The Congress will put up a candidate for the Jangipur seat. Tomorrow, I will meet the high command and inform it about our decision to contest the seat.”