To thwart BJP, Didi sends 10 ministers to 2 bypoll seats

BJP and Trinamool Congress head into a fierce contest for two West Bengal assembly seats on September 13.

Written by Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay | Kolkata | Published:September 4, 2014 1:37 am
Candidate Nayana Bandopadhyay campaigns in Chowringhee with her husband Sudip, Trinamool chief whip in Lok Sabha.Source: Express photo Candidate Nayana Bandopadhyay campaigns in Chowringhee with her husband Sudip, Trinamool chief whip in Lok Sabha. Source: Express photo

An upbeat BJP and a wary Trinamool Congress head into a fierce contest for two West Bengal assembly seats on September 13. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has deployed 10 ministers, the Trinamool Congress’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha and its general secretary, and celebrities on the bypoll campaign, while Amit Shah, who is arriving next week, leads the BJP list of central and state campaigners.

Last week, Mamata reportedly turned a cabinet meeting into a party meeting and assigned Basirhat South constituency to ministers Jyotipriya Mullick, Soumen Mahapatra, Rajiv Banerjee, Moloy Ghatak and Arup Roy, and Chowringhee constituency to Partha Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim, Shashi Panja, Arup Biswas and Madan Mitra. The ministers are from various districts. The party’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha, Sudip Bandopadhyay, too is in Chowringhee, where his wife is contesting, while party general secretary Mukul Roy is in overall charge of the twin campaigns.

Mamata made her wariness clear at a recent interview to 24 Ghanta channel when she said, “They (BJP) have become so arrogant. They said they would get all 42 Lok Sabha seats. Let them get five seats first.”

The stakes are high because of the BJP’s performance in the Lok Sabha polls. It had led Basirhat South segment by 30,000 votes. In Chowringhee segment, the BJP’s Rahul Sinha finished third in a close contest with Sudip Bandopadhyay (who won the Lok Sabha seat) and Somen Mitra of the Congress, who led the segment that was then held by his wife Shikha.

In Chowringhee, Sudip’s wife Nayana faces the BJP’s Ritesh Tiwari; in Basirhat South, the Trinamool has fielded footballer Dipendu Biswas against the BJP’s Shamik Bhattacharya, who had led here in the Lok Sabha polls. “Nobody can say for sure until the results are out, but I have great faith in the voters here,” a confident Bhattacharya said.

“We will have to see how we can stop the BJP,” said minister Soumen Mahaparta, who is from East Midnapore. “I will be in Basirhat for the next few days and go door to door to convince voters that achche din has turned into bure din.” Echoed Rajiv Banerjee, who is from Howrah, “We have to win the seat back. The BJP has to be stopped at any cost.”

At Chowringhee, Nayana Bandopadhyay says she is being helped by senior party leaders on her campaign. “The strategy is being chalked out. There will be a concerted campaign by senior leaders and ministers,” she told The Indian Express.

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  1. K
    kris kumar
    Sep 4, 2014 at 5:40 am
    Mamate is a notorious and wicked incompetent CM who will ruin Bengal. She has very little diplomatic sense. She is an anarchist who has foul mouth with little patience to listen to somebody else views. The way she is making enemy I do not think Bengal people well get benefit from the centre. She is corrupt like the previous communist rulers and the people are fooled by Mamata heavy handedness. God save Bengal from this arrogant and abusive Mamata.
  2. J
    Janardhan Rao Maddu
    Sep 4, 2014 at 4:43 am
    Never thought Modi would create such panic in MAMATA camp.Even if BJP lose,the message is sent to the intended party.Seems the end of MAMATA and rise of BJP is Bengal has started
  3. R
    Rajiv Pande
    Sep 4, 2014 at 4:20 am
    Listen to what al quaida is saying about Hindus. If we keep voting for appeat parties, Al Quaida will succeed in its designs.
  4. J
    Jugal Kishore Sharma
    Sep 4, 2014 at 11:39 am
    Didi Why are you so intimidate and fear with BJP, becuase vote bank and huge m swear with you. If you regime will never fulfills aspectation of mes where they are better for cast his vote
  5. C
    Sep 3, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    How can any one block sun rays with one hand???? Like the same many parties are trying to stop Namo by dumping their manifestos in Bay of Bengal and uniting for the sake of power and pelf. It is better for these parties and their leaders instead of talking do some good concreate work to improve the life of citizens/nation if they fail Namo's little things would stare in their faces like big ghosts and voters would select him for ever. Jaihind
  6. V
    Sep 4, 2014 at 9:30 am
    A party in power fears from party which has negligible performance in recent election.Clearly something is cooking within Bengal, which leads to such strategy for by-polls by TMS. way to go ppl
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