Calcutta, Sept. 21: The Congress today appealed to Mamata Banerjee to back President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit for the October 10 bypoll in Jangipur, hours after he filed his nomination in Behrampore.
The Jangipur seat fell vacant after Pranab became President in July.
“I appeal to Mamata to back Abhijit for the Jangipur bypoll instead of fielding her own candidate. We will withdraw from her government but that should not prevent her from supporting Pranab Mukherjee’s son. After all, she is to blame for the break in the alliance,” state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya said this afternoon.
The Trinamul leadership indicated tonight that the party might not field any candidate against Abhijit. Tomorrow is the last date for filing nominations.
“We had told the state leadership that we wanted to field a candidate for the Jangipur seat but we have not yet got any reply. It appears that the party may not field any candidate against Abhijit, now that the deadline for filing nominations expires tomorrow,” Murshidabad Trinamul president Mohammed Ali said.
A Trinamul secretary said in Calcutta tonight: “Speaking to Mamatadi, we got this impression that she does not want to jeopardise the poll prospects of Pranabda’s son by fielding a nominee, given her recent efforts to improve her relations with him.”
The CPM appeared optimistic about its chances in the bypoll. “We are hopeful of getting the votes of Trinamul supporters. After the party’s withdrawal from the UPA, we don’t think Trinamul supporters will vote for the Congress candidate,” said Muzaffar Hossain, the CPM candidate for the seat.
The six Congress ministers in the state government will submit their resignations to the chief minister tomorrow afternoon as desired by the high command, AICC Bengal in-charge Shakeel Ahmed said tonight.
The Congress’s decision came minutes after Trinamul’s six central ministers handed over their resignations to the Prime Minister.
Junior minister for irrigation Shyamal Mondal and Trinamul leaders in West Midnapore’s Sabang today skipped programmes in the district at which Congress minister Manas Bhunia laid the foundation stones for 14 bridges. Mondal said he acted on the instructions of his party — Trinamul. “The leadership asked me to stay away from the events.”