West Bengal: Too close for comfort for Selim
MOHAMMAD SELIM, CPM’s public face won by probably the narrowest of margins this elections. On a day of high drama and fluctuating fortunes, Selim came up trumps, winning by a wafer thin margin of a mere 1,168 votes over his near rival – Deepa Das Munshi of the Congress – even as the grand old party demanded a recounting.
Many in the CPM. however, felt the margin of victory for Selim was as good as a defeat. The victory with such a ‘thin’ margin prompted the Election Commission to accept the appeal for a recount of postal ballots, which were around 1900 in numbers. Dramatically enough, after the recounting of the postal ballots, Selim was declared winner with a margin of 1,634 votes.
Even though Selim was initially not happy with his rehabilitation in Raigunj Lok Sabha seat in North Dinajpur from his usual seat of Kolkata North, this was one decision taken by the Left Front after right calculations.
The Left Front had assessed the erosion of Congress. The decision to field Selim in Raigunj was taken after considering it was a four-cornered contest. “We had conducted a detailed ground survey before Selim was brought here,” said Bisweswar Lahiri, the CPM district secretary in North Dinajpur.
According to EC records, CPM got 3,17,515 votes, while Congress got 3,15,881 votes. Surprisingly, the BJP has gained more than TMC in the area. BJP candidate and an actor Nimu Bhoumick got 2,03,131 votes while TMC candidate Satyaranjan Dasmunshi, brother of veteran congress leader Priyaranjan Dasminshi got 1,92,698 votes.Of seven assembly segments, CPM led in four while BJP led in one and Congress led in two assembly segments.
“I must say that CPM studied the constituency well. They noticed erosion of the Congress and the undercurrent of BJP support. They also calculated it well. This is a perfect example of gaining a constituency using the division of vote share. CPM could win because BJP got more than 2 lakhs votes. And these votes were earlier with the Congress,” said Satyaranjan Dasmunshi.