Kolkata: The BJP leaders and supporters on ground are optimistic of springing a major surprise in the coming elections in Diamond Harbour assembly segment which falls under famous ‘bhaipo’ Abhishekh Banerjee’s parliamentary constituency.
Abhishekh Banerjee is Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s famous nephew the political detractors have targeted so much in the run up to this year’s polls.
The BJP could make a dent in this key assembly segment when two-time Trinamool MLA Dipak Halder joined the party.
Halder is now BJP candidate, where the poll strategists think if anywhere the allegation of corruption and ‘tola baazi’ against ‘bhaipo’ would come into play, it is the Diamond Harbour seat.
“I was not allowed to work properly for my people,” Dipak Halder had said indicating clearly who ran the show. Trinamool has now fielded Pannalal Halder.
BJP’s Nilanjan Roy had polled 4,70,533 votes in 2019 Lok Sabha polls accounting for 33.39 per cent of vote share in the parliamentary constituency. BJP’s vote share had swung by 17 percent (as against 2014 show) while CPI-M votes nosedived by 28 percent and Congress also suffered loss of 3.6 per cent of votes.
It is worth mentioning that Abhishek Banerjee’s relatives are also being questioned by CBI and ED over various scam and corruption cases.
Like many other constituencies, BJP has sprang a surprise in naming its candidate for Alipurduars assembly seat in north Bengal.
Of course, one man to watch for 2021 assembly polls and if BJP forms government will be Ashok Lahiri, a former Chief Economic Advisor to Government of India.
He has been fielded as saffron outfit candidate from Alipurduars.
This constituency also tells the story of what has happened to communists’ power-play and their support base in their onetime bastion.
This seat used to be won by the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) since 1977 and was taken by Congress only in 2011 when the grand old party was an ally of Trinamool Congress.
But in 2016, when the Left and Congress had formed an alliance, the RSP nominee could win only 7324 votes. Nirmal Das had won the seat four times – 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006.
In 2016 assembly polls, BJP nominee Kushal Chatterjerjee had polled just 10 per cent of votes but did better than RSP and the seat was snatched by Trinamool nominee Sourav Chakraborty.
In the 2021 polls, BJP has fielded Ashok Lahiri, a member of the 15th Finance Commission.
Lahiri previously served as 12th Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India and was chairman of Bandhan Bank. Known to have closely with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lahiri also served at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as a consultant and senior economist.
BJP has fielded columnist and Rajya Sabha MP, Swapan Dasgupta. The Trinamool Congress too has changed its two time MLA, Rachpal Singh, a Sikh and a former police officer. Singh is also Minister for Planning in the Mamata Banerjee government.
Ramendu Singha Roy will now represent Mamata’s party in this segment that falls under the Hooghly region – where Trinamool Congress lost ground considerably in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Surprisingly, Surajit Ghosh of NCP had finished second polling 69,898 votes in this segment in 2016 as against over 97,500 by Singh, a former deputy commissioner of Kolkata police.