BJP's Priyanka Tibriwal to contest against Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee (L) and Priyanka Tibriwal

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Priyanka Tibriwal as its candidate in the upcoming Bhabanipur bypolls pitting her against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on 30 September.

BJP announced Tibriwal's candidature on Friday through a notification undersigned by the party's general secretary Arun Singh. The party is also fielding Milan Ghosh in the Samserganj constituency against Trinamool Congress Party's (TMC) Amirul Islam and has put up Sujit Das for the Jangipur constituency against TMC's Jakir Hossain.

It is crucial for Mamata Banerjee, who became chief minister of the state for the third time after TMC's Assembly election victory, to win the Bhabanipur bypoll to retain her position. She had lost in Nandigram to her former aide Suvendu Adhikari, who joined the BJP.

According to the schedule announced by the Election Commission of India, by-elections in Bhabanipur, Samserganj and Jangipur Assembly Constituencies in the state are scheduled on 30 September.

The counting of votes will be taken up on 3 October.

The Bhabanipur assembly seat was vacated by West Bengal agriculture minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay in May, making way for Mamata Banerjee to contest.

Earlier on Monday, sources said the Indian National Congress is unlikely to field a candidate against the chief minister.

The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC registered a landslide victory in polls winning 213 seats in the 294-member West Bengal assembly. The BJP lost the polls but emerged as the second-largest party with 77 seats.