Bypoll stage for Madan Mitra comeback
Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced Madan Mitra, former aide and minister in her first cabinet, as Trinamul’s candidate for an Assembly bypoll next month.
Mitra had been relegated to the sidelines since his defeat in the 2016 Assembly polls. “This is the biggest honour. I am overwhelmed…. I was, am and will remain a loyal foot soldier of the party. I will give my best in whatever role Didi assigns me,” Mitra said after getting the nomination from Bhatpara.
The bypoll was necessitated by the defection of Trinamul MLA Arjun Singh to the BJP. Singh is now the BJP candidate in the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat.
Mitra, former sports and transport minister who lost to the CPM from the Kamarhati Assembly seat in 2016, was released on bail in September that year after 21 months in jail in connection with the Saradha scam.
On Thursday, Mamata announced Mitra’s candidature at a rally in Birbhum’s Suri where she also named Abdul Karim Chowdhury, another former minister, the Trinamul nominee in an Assembly bypoll in Islampur.
Amal Kishku will be the candidate in Habibpur and Trinamul will back the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s Binay Tamang in Darjeeling, Mamata said. The candidate for another bypoll, in Murshidabad’s Kandi, is yet to be announced.
The five seats fell vacant after the incumbent MLAs resigned to contest the Lok Sabha elections. All the Assembly bypolls will be held on May 19.
In Islampur, Chowdhury, said he had made an “emotional” decision to quit Trinamul a year ago. “Things have been sorted out. I thank Mamata Banerjee for selecting me as the candidate.”
Alhaj Muzaffar Hussain will be the Congress nominee from Islampur, Rejina Murmu from Habilpur and Khwaja Ahmed Hussain from Bhatpara, PTI has reported.