Tamluk to be toughest battle for Trinamool since 2009 as BJP aims for win

National |  IANS  | Published :

Kolkata, March 25 (IANS) The battle in Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency in East Midnapore district for Trinamool Congress seems to be the toughest since it first won the seat in 2009 by defeating the Left.

Swayed by the sentiments of the land movement at Nandigram, the then Trinamool Congress candidate from Tamluk, Suvendu Adhikari in 2009, emerged as the new game-changer in Bengal politics by defeating three-time sitting CPI(M) Lok Sabha member Lakhsman Chandra Seth by a margin of over 1,50,000 votes. Since then Tamluk virtually became a fortress for Trinamool Congress in the successive elections.

However, the situation is totally different this time in multiple perspectives thus making “Battleground Tamluk” the toughest turf for Trinamool Congress ever since 2009.

BJP has fielded former judge of Calcutta High Court Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who virtually became a national figure because of his crusade against corruption which was reflected in his subsequent judgements and observations in the cash-for- school job cases in West Bengal.

CPI(M) on the other hand has fielded young Calcutta High Court counsel Sayan Banerjee. Though way behind Gangopadhyay in national popularity, Banerjee, who is a fresher in politics, too has become quite popular in the civil society for his forceful arguments at the Calcutta High Court in favour of the illegally deprived candidates in the school-job case.

Caught in the midst of these two crusaders against corruption, the battle is tough for Trinamool Congress’ young candidate and the party’s social media face Debangshu Bhattacharya.

Since a large number of such school-job-deprived candidates come from East Midnapore district and many from Tamluk, this point can turn out to be a negative factor for Trinamool Congress in the electoral number-game.

The third factor is that the 2009 political game-changer of Tamluk, Suvendu Adhikari, is currently the leader of the opposition in West Bengal Assembly and is determined to wipe out Trinamool Congress not just in the seat but in the entire East Midnapore, a district where he has his ancestral roots and also the turf where he rose to his current political heights beginning as an ordinary student leader.

In fact, Trinamool Congress first felt the pinch of Adhikari’s influence in the district especially Tamluk in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections when he got elected from Nandigram, one of the seven Assembly constituencies under Tamluk defeating none else but Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Last she got re-elected in the by-elections was from Bhabanipur Assembly constituency in Kolkata and retained her chair as the chief minister for the third consecutive term.

Adhikari said that the Trinamool Congress candidate stands nowhere in comparison to his competitor in BJP. “If one is the water of Ganga, the other is that from the gutter,” he said.

Gangopadhyay, himself understands that his crusader image against corruption is the unique selling point in the skyrocketing popularity among common people, in his subsequent speeches as BJP leader, he has only focussed on ending the current state regime which is laden with corruption.

The Trinamool Congress candidate is harping on his youth factor to gain the confidence of the voters. “The manner in which a youth in his twenties can promptly reach out to the voters and address their issues, I do not think that it will be possible for an individual in his late- sixties,” Bhattacharya said.

For CPI(M)’s lawyer-candidate the battle is to explain to the people on how the Left Front can be alternative to both BJP and Trinamool Congress in addressing and redressing the genuine grievances of the voters,

Tamluk, with a strength of over 15 lakh voters, has a combination of farming and industrial belts, with eastern India’s important port-cum-industrial hub of Haldia being under this constituency. It had been a traditional Left citadel from 1980, except once in the 1996 Lok Sabha polls when Congress candidate Jayanta Bhattacharya got elected by a margin of less than 8,000 votes.

However, since 2009 Tamluk became the virtual fort of Trinamool Congress, with Suvendu Adhikari being the game-changer. Now it is to be seen whether he can again turn out to be a game-changer and this time on behalf of the BJP.

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