Abhishek Banerjee to have low-key involvement in Bengal bypolls campaign

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Ruling Trinamool Congress’ national General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee is expected to have a low-key presence in the campaigning for the high-profile bypolls to Asansol Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal’s West Burdwan district and Ballygunge Assembly constituency in Kolkata on April 12.

Instead of campaigning extensively through multiple meetings, Banerjee, the nephew of Chief Minister and party chief Mamata Banerjee, will only participate in just one road-show each in both constituencies.

According to a statement issued by the Trinamool here on Sunday, Abishek Banerjee will participate in a roadshow on April 7 in Ballygunge in support of the party candidate, singer-turned politician, Babul Supriyo. Party sources said that in all probability, he will conduct a similar road show in Asansol in support of party candidate, actor-turned- politician, Shatrughan Sinha.

The bypoll in Ballygunge was necessitated by the sudden demise of sitting Trinamool legislator and former state Panchayat Minister, Subrata Mukherjee on the night of Kali Puja on November 4, 2021. Supriyo will face CPI-M’s Saira Shah Halim, the niece of actor, Naseeruddin Shah and wife of CPI-M leader Dr Fuad Halim and BJP’s Keya Ghosh, a former journalist.

Supriyo was the BJP MP from Asansol. But soon after the 2021 Assembly polls, he joined the Trinamool and resigned from the seat. BJP has fielded fashion designer-turned politician, Agnimitra Paul, who is already a sitting legislator from Asansol South Assembly constituency, while the CPI-M has fielded Partha Mukherjee.

Abhishek Banerjee’s lowkey involvement in the campaign for the by-polls has led to speculation on whether this was result of his recent differences with the top party leadership including Mamata Banerjee on issues like “One Person, One Post”.

However, Trinamool insiders have rubbished such speculations and said that the party in general is keeping the by-poll campaign a long key affair because of the ongoing higher secondary examinations in the state.

Counting for both bypolls will be on April 16.

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