The Ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, which fought Left parties and the Congress in 10 constituencies in the northern districts of the state in the first and second phases of polls in the state, is fighting anti-incumbency and trying to fend off a likely fallout of the Saradha scam in the third phase on Wednesday, besides a stronger BJP.
The Saradha scam has made a flutter prior to the third phase of the five-phase election in the state. On Wednesday, nine constituencies in four south Bengal districts will vote. TMC had won five of the constituencies in 2009 and four were won by the Left Front.
In 2009, out of the 10 constituencies in north Bengal, the Congress had won five and Left Front four. BJP had won one.
Apart from anti-incumbency, the party is fighting a perceived “BJP wave” in south Bengal. Even though Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee denied any “Modi-wave” in every political meeting her intensified attack on Modi was seen as an indication of BJP worrying the ruling party.
Star candidates of BJP including music director Bappi Lahiri, journalist Chandan Mitra and actors George Baker and Joy Banerjee are in the fray in the third phase. MPs Satabdi Roy, Kalyan Banerjee, Sultan Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee, a former India soccer player are among Trinamool candidates. BJP is confident of Bappi Lahiri and Chandan Mitra’s chances.
Howrah, Hooghly, Serampore, Bolpur, Arambagh, Burdwan East, Burdwan-Durgapur, Birbhum and Uluberia are among Lok Sabha constituencies that will vote on Wednesday.
Trinamool won five of the nine south constituencies in 2009. The rest are Burdwan East, Burdwan-Durgapur, Arambag and Bolpur. Eighty-seven contestants are in the fray in these nine constituencies, including 13 women.