Fourth phase of Lok Sabha Election: West Bengal is witnessing a direct contest between the BJP and Trinamool Congress in the state that is crucial to Prime Minister Modi's bid for a second term.
Lok Sabha Election 2019: Seven seats of West Bengal are going to poll on Monday. Four major parties are in the fray but this time the main contest appears to be between ruling All India Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee and a resurgent BJP under leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. While Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress had won 6 of these 7 seats in 2014 Lok Sabha Election, BJP had won just one seat – Asansol, but this time BJP hopes to notch a few seats from TMC.
Union minister and BJP leader Babul Supriyo won from Asansol Lok Sabha seat last time. However, this time chief minister Mamata has made the battle in Asansol a prestige issue for her party. She has replaced Dola Sen who last to Babul Supriyo last time. Mamata then sent Dola Sen to the Rajya Sabha. This time West Bengal chief minister has fielded famous actress Munmun Sen against Babul Supriyo.
Last time Babul Supriyo had bagged nearly 4.2 lakh popular votes, 37% of the total votes polled in 2014. Dola Sen was a distant second with 3.49 lakh votes or little over 30% of the total votes. While CPM candidate Bansa Goapal Chowdhary was third with 2.55 lakh votes, Congress candidate Indrani Mishra’s deposit was forefeited as Mishra got less than 50,000 votes.
Six other seats, Bardhman East, Bardhman-Durgapur, Bolapur, Beerbhoom, Ranaghat and Krishna Nagar are going to poll on Monday.
TMC has won six of seven seats last time as the party under the charismatic leadership of Mamata Banerjee went on to win 34 of total 42 seats in the state, an improvement of 15 seats. TMC’s gain of 15 seats in 2014 was attributed to a direct loss of the same number of seats to CPM (13 seats) and Congress (2 seats).
In 2014, CPM was at the second position with nearly 30% popular votes against 39% popular votes won by Trinamool Congress. BJP was third with 17% vote share, followed by Congress which had bagged 9.5% popular votes.
However, this time BJP is hoping to unsettle the electoral arithmetic in the state. The party hopes to cover for any possible loss from West Bengal that it might suffer in Hindi heartland states.
Improving his party’s tally is important for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bid for a second term as the state sends 42 members in the Lok Sabha, third highest number after Uttar Pradesh (80) and Maharashtra (48).