CM Mamata Banerjee addresses the last election campaign of bypolls | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
CM Mamata Banerjee addressing her last election rally at Jadu Babu Bazaar Sunday | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
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Kolkata: When a sitting chief minister contests an election, it’s bound to become high profile even if it’s just a bypoll. The bypoll in south Kolkata’s Bhabanipur on 30 September, which is being contested by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, is no exception.

Trinamool Congress carried out a high voltage campaign in the assembly constituency, which is home to 2 lakh voters. Life size cutouts of Banerjee have come up in almost every lane and bylane of the assembly seat. It’s also hard to miss the Trinamool festoons hanging from buildings and electric poles.

This is striking because not only is the Trinamool in power in the state, but BJP, the principal opposition party, has fielded a comparatively new leader Priyanka Tibrewal. The party knows that the odds are stacked against it and its door-to-door campaign has also received a lacklustre response. Even flags and festoons of the BJP are few and far between.

But CM Banerjee is not taking any chances. Especially after Nandigram, where she lost to her former aide Suvendu Adhikari, who joined the BJP before the assembly election held earlier this year. Her loss in the assembly election necessitated this bypoll since under Indian law, a minister has to be elected to the assembly within six months of taking office to retain the post.

Since 21 September, Banerjee has addressed close to a dozen public and street corner meetings in Bhabanipur.

Every day, she addresses at least one meeting, sometimes two. Clad in a white cotton sari, wearing her trademark chappals, she comes to the meeting and greets people from different communities — Bengali, Muslims, Punjabi, Marwari and Gujarati — in their language. In Bengali and Bengali accented Hindi, she exhorts people to vote for her if they want her to continue as chief minister.

Banerjee’s campaigns are very lively — occasionally, she breaks into a Hindi film song or a Urdu couplet or recites poems of Rabindranath Tagore and Nazrul Islam, inviting loud applause from the crowd.

At times she also comes up with interesting catchphrases. During a rally near Shakespeare Sarani Saturday, she told the crowd that they should not lose their cool on voting day even if somebody tries to obstruct them. “Remember, you have to be cool. Cool Cool Trinamool,” she said and the crowd loved it.

ThePrint’s National Photo Editor Praveen Jain brings your pictures from CM Mamata Banerjee’s bypoll campaigns.

This rally happened in Jodubabu Bazaar in Bhabanipur | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressing a rally in Jadu Babu Bazaar in Bhabanipur Sunday | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
CM Mamata Banerjee's rally in Kolkata | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
CM Banerjee at Jadu Baba Bazaar in south Kolkata’s Bhabanipur | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
CM Mamata Banerjee while addressing the last election campaign | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
The rally at Jadu Babu Bazaar Sunday was Banerjee’s penultimate one | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Mamata Banerjee in her speech promised to oust BJP from the country | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
In her speech at Jadu Babu bazaar, Banerjee promised to oust BJP from the country | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
MP Abhishek Banerjee and nephew of CM Mamata Banerjee addressed the crowd | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Banerjee with her nephew Abhishek Banerjee (in white), who is also the Trinamool Congress’s national general secretary | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
CM Mamata Banerjee slammed the Centre for not allowing her to visit Rome | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
CM Banerjee slammed the Modi government for not allowing her to go to Rome where she was invited to speak at a world peace conference | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Trinamool supporters show the victory sign amid posters of CM Mamata Banerjee | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
TMC supporters capture CM Mamata Banerjee as addresses from the stage in Ekbalpur | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Trinamool supporters capture Banerjee’s addresses at Ekbalpore on 22 September | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Mamata Banerjee's brother Kartik Banerjee taking picture of CM as she addresses the crowd in Chakraberia | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Banerjee’s brother Kartik Banerjee during her address at Chakraberia Saturday | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
In all of the Banerjee's rallies the media was given limited moving | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
In all of Banerjee’s rallies, the media was allowed only limited movement | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
CM Mamata Banerjee addresses the crowd outside Gurudwara Sahib Kutia | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
CM Banerjee addressing the crowd outside Gurdwara Sahib Kutiya on 15 September | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
CM Mamata Banerjee addresses a crowd | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Banerjee at one of her rallies in Bhabanipur | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
CM Mamata Banerjee meets MPs from her party | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
CM Mamata Banerjee meets MPs from her party at a rally in Chakraberia Saturday | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Mamata Banerjee, nephew Abhishek Banerjee address the crowd | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Abhishek Banerjee, the CM’s nephew, addresses the crowd at one of the rallies in Bhabanipur| Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint

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