The upcoming by-elections in West Bengal is all set to witness demonetisation as the main issue in the polls. Bypolls are slated in two Lok Sabha seats – Cooch Behar constituency in Cooch Behar district and Tamluk in Purba Medinipur district and Monteswar assembly seat on November 19 and results will be announced on November 21. The Cooch Behar bypoll was necessitated by the death of TMC MP Renuka Sinha. The bypoll to the Tamluk Lok Sabha seat was necessitated by TMC MP Suvendu Adhikari’s resignation as MP to join the state cabinet as transport minister and the bypoll to Monteswar assembly seat was necessitated due to the death of TMC MLA Sajal Panja.
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According to leaders of both the ruling TMC and opposition CPI(M), Congress and BJP, demonetisation all of a sudden has come up as major issue as the common man as well as political parties have been impacted by the Centre’s decision.
“This anti-people decision of demonetisation has affected every citizen of this country. The common man is suffering. Demonetisation has also impacted our campaign as we are unable to pay the decorators, sound organisers. In Tamluk, most of the rural areas still don’t have proper banking facilities, what will the poor farmers do?” TMC MLA and party candidate from Tamluk seat Dibyendu Adhikari told PTI.
According CPI(M) and Congress leaders, demonetisation has all of a sudden come up as an issue for the polls as they are receiving feedback that people are frustrated because of the new decision.
“We have been campaigning on the issue of communal tensions and poor governance of the state government. But, this demonetisation has become a prominent issue as both political parties and people are opposing it. There are instances that people can’t avail healthcare or food because of this decision and the situation is much worse in rural areas,” CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty told PTI.
The Congress too echoed the views of CPI(M) and TMC. BJP on the other hand said the elections will be a litmus test as the people will favour the BJP for taking such a bold step in unearthing black money.
“What TMC, Congress and CPI(M) are saying is not right. People of Bengal are happy with these decision and will give a hands down victory to our candidates. It will not only be a message in favour of demonetisation, but also against the anarchy and misrule of TMC,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said.