Today, on May 5 Mamata Banerjee took oath as Chief Minister of Bengal for the third time. Banerjee lost to her former aide Suvendu Adhikari in the Nandigram constituency, but her party, TMC has won the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections with an overwhelming majority.
Has to win by-polls within six months
This is not the first time when Mamata will remain CM despite losing in her constituency. She can easily remain CM under Article 164 of the Indian Constitution which lays down the conditions of taking oath as a minister.
Article 164(4) states, “A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a minister.” Mamata Banerjee will get six months to win any constituency in a by-poll held on to the CM’s chair.
In 2011, Mamata Banerjee did not contest the assembly elections and was a Member of Parliament. However, after a few months, she got elected from Bhabanipur and took oath as the CM of the state.
What happens if Mamata loses by-elections
In case Mamata loses by-elections she has to resign from the post of Chief Minister and the state will see another CM or President's rule will be imposed. In 2009, Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren lost the by-elections, after which President's rule has to be imposed in the state.
Earlier in 1970, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Tribhuvan Narayan Singh lost the by-polls. Then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi herself came to oppose Narayan and held rallies during the by-elections. After this, Congress member Kamalapati Tripathi became the Prime Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Recent examples, where Minster took oath despite not contesting in elections
Recently, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat took oath as CM of the state. However, to hold on to CM’s chair he has to win assembly elections before 10 September. While taking oath Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackrey, Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath was also not a Member of Parliament and later become a member of the Legislative Council.