Kolkata has two parliamentary seats - Kolkata South and Kolkata North. Both the seats are currently held by Trinamool Congress. This time, the BJP is hopeful of a change in its fortune with the people's response to its election compaign.
Kolkata Lok Sabha election result 2019: With a surge in its popularity and buoyed by expectations of springing a surprise in West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party is hopeful of wresting the state capital from Trinamool Congress chief and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Kolkata is the capital city of West Bangal. The city has two parliamentary seats — Kolkata South and Kolkata North, both currently held by Trinamool Congress leaders Subrata Bakshi and Sudip Bandyopadhyay, respectively. The seats went to polls in the seventh and last phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 19. While Kolkata South saw a turnout of 69.65 %, Kolkata North recorded 65.74% polling.
In Kolkata South, the BJP has pitted Chandra Kumar Bose against TMC’s Mala Roy. While Bose is the grand nephew of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and joined the BJP in 2016, Roy is a councillor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation since 2005. The Congress has nominated Mita Chakraborty and CPI(M) has given a ticket to Nandini Mukherjee. The BSP is also in the fray with its candidate Sarfaraz Khan.
Considered a TMC bastion, the seat was represented by Mamata Banerjee in the Lok Sabha for a record six times since 1991. The seat was vacated by Mamata in 2011 after she took over as the Chief Minister of West Bengal. Since then, TMC’s Subrata Bakshi has represented the seat. But the TMC chose to replace Bakshi with Mala Roy this time. The CPI(M) last won the seat in 1989. The Kolkata South constituency has over 17 lakh voters. It consists seven Assembly segments — Calcutta Port, Bhowanipore, Rashbehari, Ballygunge, Kasba, Behala East and Behala West.
In Kolkata North, Trinamool Congress’ incumbent MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay is seeking re-election while the BJP has fielded Rahul Sinha. Sinha is the current BJP national secretary and also served as the president of the BJP’s West Bengal unit between 2009 and 2015. On the other hand, Bandyopadhyay, a businessman by profession, has been a three-time MP from Kolkata North and had won in the 2014 general elections by a margin of nearly 97,000 votes. The constituency has seven assembly segments — Chowranghee, Entally, Beleghata, Jorasanko, Shyampukur, Maniktala and Kashipur Belgachhia. It has a total of 14 lakh registered voters.
Both the seats witnessed sporadic violence ahead of the elections and on the date polling as well with BJP and TMC accusing each other of targeting their workers. The BJP is hopeful that the people will vote in favour of its candidates and to end TMC’s misrule. BJP president Amit Shah also held a roadhsow in Kolkata ahead of the polling and managed to pull a huge crowd. The BJP claimed that the crowd will convert into the numbers while the TMC alleged that the people who attended Shah’s event were outsiders. The roadshow also witnessed violent clashes between BJP and TMC workers.
The ruling Trinamool Congress-led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been West Bengal’s favourite since 2009. In 2009, the Left Front suffered a huge setback and Mamata’s party registered a massive gain, winning 26 seats with Congress and Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist). In 2014, the Trinamool Congress contested alone and pocketed 34 of the 42 parliamentary seats.
In this elections, however, equations have changed with BJP and TMC facing a direct contest in most of the seats. The Left and Congress are nowhere in the electoral frame. In Kolkata South and Kolkata North as well, though the Left and Congress have fielded their candidates, the constituencies are witnessing a direct fight between Mamata’s TMC and Narendra Modi’s BJP.