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BJP’s horse trading falls flat in West Bengal


Published : 05 Apr 2021 09:50 PM | Updated : 06 Apr 2021 01:23 AM

The West Bengal state of India is going to the third phase of Legislative Assembly election today when voting will be held in 31 seats under 24 Parganas, Hawra and Hooghli districts.

The three districts has been strongholds of the state’s ruling party Trinamool Congress (TMC) for the last one decade after Communist Party of India (Marxist-CPM) was defeated to TMC in 2011 election.

West Bengal has been under the rule of TMC since then and party chief Mamata Banerjee is seeking a third straight term as chief minister in this year’s election, which is being held in eight phases.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling party at the Centre, has applied all its strength to uproot Mamata from West Bengal by winning the LA polls though their performance in the last polls was poor. 

The party won only three constituency of the 295-seat assembly while TMC bagged 211 seats, CPM 26 and Indian National Congress (INC) 44 seats.

BJP has fielded film actor Mithun Chakraborty, also a former Rajya Sabha member from TMC, for extra millage in the electioneering while TMC hired actress Jaya Bachchan to counter Mithun.

Analysts say BJP will certainly perform better the previous election, but there is little chance the party will be vote to power in the state.

The seats where voting is taking place today are Basanti, Kultali, Kulpi, Raidighi, Mandirbazar, Jaynagar, Baruipur Purba, Canning Paschim, Canning Purba, Baruipur Paschim, Magrahat Purba, Magrahat Paschim, Diamond Harbour, Falta, Sargachhia and Bishnupur under 24 Parganas, Uluberia Uttar, Uluberia Dakshin, Shyampur, Bagnan, Amta, Udaynarayanpur and Jagatballavpur under Hawra, and Jangipara, Haripal, Dhanekhali, Tarakeswar, Pursurah, Arambag, Goghat, and Khanakul under Hooghli.

In 2016 election, TMC won all the seats in the three districts but only two constituencies – Kulpi and Amta – which were taken by CPM and Congress respectively. In percentage, TMC got 50.18 percent, Left Front 28.2 percent, Congress 9.71 percent, and BJP 6.91 percent.

But in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP progressed a lot; the party bagged 37.45 percent of votes against TMC’s 51.05 percent. CMP got only 6.71 percent and Congress 1.62 percent.

BJP expects win in the LA election despite the performance in the last LA and Lok Sabha polls. Leaders of the party say shifting of support from TMC and a number of TMC leaders joining BJP will ensure their party’s victory.

TMC leaders, however, are rejecting any chance that BJP will win the polls. They say their win in the election is just a matter of time.