Mamata Visits Temple In Bhabanipur Ahead Of Crucial Bypolls


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday paid a visit to a famous temple in Bhabanipur area of Kolkata from where she is contesting a by-poll, and said she prayed for the destruction of all "divisive and communal forces".While returning from the state secretariat, Ms Banerjee dropped at the Sitala temple in Bhabanipur constituency and offered puja and "arati". She was accompanied by her nephew and Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee."Today, I prayed at the famous Sitala temple in Bhabanipur for the welfare of every people of Bengal. Let the blessings of the goddess destroy hatred, sorrow, evil and separatist forces. I prayed for peace and harmony in Bengal," Ms Banerjee posted on her Facebook page along with some photographs of her offering puja.The TMC chief last week visited a gurudwara, a mosque and another temple in the area and interacted with locals.Banerjee, a resident of Bhabanipur, had won the seat in 2011 and 2016. However, in the assembly election held earlier this year, she contested from Nandigram, where the anti-farmland acquisition movement against the Left Front government had transformed her into a major political force in the state, to dare her former protege turned adversary Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP in his home turf.Though she powered the TMC to a resounding win for a third straight term in office, she lost to Adhikari by a narrow margin, and challenged the result in the Calcutta High Court. The case is pending.


Banerjee now must win the Bhabanipur seat to ensure an unbroken stint as the chief minister.

After her defeat in Nandigram, state cabinet minister and TMC MLA from Bhabanipur Sovandeb Chattopadhyay vacated the seat to allow Banerjee to contest from there.Banerjee is pitted against the BJP's Priyanka Tibrewal and CPI(M)'s Srijib Biswas for the September 30 by-poll. The Congress has decided not to field a candidate against her.

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