Remal breaks electioneering rhythm in Bengal

Kolkata, May 28 (UNI) Though the cyclonic storm Remal upset the applecart of the political parties and largely interrupted the poll managers’ mathematics as how to woo the electorate for Bengal’s crucial seventh and final phase election to nine Lok Sabha seats on June 1, the weather God finally relented after nearly 48 hours of blinding rain and allowed the power seekers to receive blessings from the commoners for the next five years.

After a record nearly 83 per cent polling in the sixth phase for eight seats, over 1.63 crore voters are enrolled for the final phase to elect nine winners among the 72 contestants on Saturday before counting begins for all the 42 seats on June 4.

The last phase, which has the highest number of seats from all six previous phases, will witness ruling TMC’s second-in-command Abhishek Banerjee seek his third straight term in Parliament from the Diamond Harbour seat in South 24 Parganas.

Whilst TMC and BJP have fielded all nine candidates, CPI(M) has fielded in six and its Left allies AIFB, RSP and Congress one each.

The remaining candidates are Independents.

However, the electorate is focusing mainly on the two key rivals – Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led TMC and her arch political opponent the BJP, which is aiming to win 30 seats as per Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s target to pave the way for dislodging the ruling party in near future.

For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has targeted 30 of West Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha segments, the last phase is being seen as the most crucial.

Besides Diamond Harbour, eight other Lok Sabha seats are Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Jadavpur, Kolkata Dakshin and Kolkata Uttar.

Baranagar Assembly seat also goes simultaneously for byelection on June 1.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha poll the TMC won all the nine seats among its 22.

Veteran Sougata Roy is seeking his fourth straight term for TMC and is facing BJP’s Silbhadra Dutta and CPI(M)’s Sujan Chakraborty.

Similarly Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar of TMC is in fight against BJP’s Swapan Majumdar and AIFB’s Sanjib Chatterjee.

In Basirhat TMC’s Haji Nurul Islam is in fight against BJP’s Rekha Patra, the face of Sandeshkhali uprise against alleged TMC goons in North 24 Parganas, and CPI(M) veteran Nirapada Sardar, who also fought in the agitation at Sandeshkhali and was in jail before getting bail.

TMC this time changed its candidate replacing moviestar Nusrat Jahan.

For Jaynagar in South 24 Parganas TMC’s sitting MP Pratima Mondal will face BJP’s Asoke Kandari and RSP’s Samarendra Nath Mondal.

In Mathurapur TMC’s Bapi Haldar will face Ashoke Purkait from BJP and CPI(M)’s Sarat Chandra Haldar. TMC this time replaced its winning candidate Mohan Jatua.

Diamond Harbour has TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee contesting agaist BJP’s Abhijit Das alias Bobby and CPI(M)’s Pratikur Rahaman.

In Jadavpur TMC’s Sayani Ghosh will contest against BJP’s Anirban Ganguly and CPI(M)’s Srijan Bhattacharya. The TMC replaced its MP Mimi Chakraborty.

Kolkata Dakshin has sitting TMC MP Mala Roy, who will face BJP’s Deboshree Chowdhury, a former Union Minister, and CPI(M)’s Saira Shah Halim.

Kolkata Uttar has TMC MP Sudip Banerjee against BJP’s Tapas Roy, whi left the Trinamool Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha election and joined the saffron brigade, and Congress’ Pradip Bhattacharjee.

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