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Political

Constituency watch: Infighting over selection of candidate big headache for Trinamool in Bardhaman-Purba

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | April 17, 2024 04:38 PM

KOLKATA: Soon after Trinamool Congress announced that it was fielding Dr Sharmila Sarkar from the Bardhaman-Purba seat instead of its two-time sitting MP Sunil Kumar Mondal, severe infighting broke out in the Lok Sabha constituency.

Being denied a ticket after winning twice from the constituency with comfortable margins, a miffed Sunil Kumar Mondal accused the district leadership of misleading the top party leadership, resulting in him being denied re-nomination.

Sunil Kumar Mondal even went to the extent of saying that party supremo and Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, often showers affection on those leaders who actually mislead and at times backstab her.

“I am pained that often those people turn out to be treacherous who had been blessed the most by the Chief Minister,” he said.

Talking about the new candidate, Mondal said, “She is a fresher. I do not know how she will strike a chord with the district party leadership.”

Considering Mondal’s influence among the party workers in the constituency, the event of his turning rebel is a real possibility.

Otherwise, going by past records, Bardhaman-Purba is expected to be one of the safest seats for the Trinamool Congress this time as well.

Apart from Mondal’s victory with comfortable margins twice in 2014 and 2019, Trinamool Congress candidates won from all the seven constituencies under the Bardhaman-Purba Lok Sabha in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly polls.

Bardhaman-Purba is a post-delimitation Lok Sabha constituency formed before the 2009 General Elections.

The BJP has fielded acclaimed folk singer and sitting party legislator from Haringhata Assembly constituency in Nadia District, Ashim Kumar Sarkar from Bardhaman-Purba this time.

Political observers are of the opinion that fielding Sarkar is a well chalked-out strategy of the BJP, considering the fact that 20 per cent of voters in Bardhaman-Purba belong to the Matua community.

Sarkar himself comes from this Backward Class community that came to West Bengal as refugees from Bangladesh.

Given the celebrations among the people of the community following the recent notification on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and his popularity as a folk singer in Katwa, Kalna and Memari pockets of the constituency, it is advantage BJP here.

The CPI(M) has fielded Nirab Khan, basically an organisation man and greenhorn in electoral politics from Bardhaman-Purba this time. He is focusing on the issue of corruption, especially the one related to the multi-crore cash-for-school job case in his door-to-door campaigns.

With a voter strength of over 15 lakh, Bardhaman-Purba is called the ‘Granary of Bengal’ for the rich varieties of paddy produced there.

 

 
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