If there is one seat in West Bengal that Congress should be confident of winning, it is Berhampore. The sitting MP is MoS for Railways Adhir Chowdhury, also the PCC president. “I have little time to think about my result. As the countdown begins, I am tense over likely post-poll violence and attacks on our party supporters by the ruling party. In this poll, we fought separately and there has been lot of bitterness during campaigning,” says Chowdhury, often described as the strongman of Berhampore.
“I need to take care of all the constituencies in Bengal and the candidates,” says Adhir as he prepares to leave for Delhi for a post-poll strategy session. “The days of waiting are very crucial to all political parties. They require lot of data collection and negotiation.”
Before leaving for Delhi, Chowdhury made at least two dozen calls to block-level and district-level leaders. “I am not worried about the result. I have no doubts on my victory in Berhampore. Since Congress is strongest in Murshidabad, the attack would be maximum on Congress workers here,” he says. Chowdhury , however, is not sure of Abhijeet Mukherjee’s seat in Jangipur. “He is our President’s son. But, that is not a sure seat for us anymore,” he says.
Meanwhile, Chowdhury’s opponent in Murshidabad, who was injured before polling day, was unsure about victory. Indranil Sen, singer and TMC candidate, is believed to have told his workers that “the reign of terror by Adhir Chowdhury has put a question mark on the results”. Humayun Kabir, TMC leader in charge of Murshidabad and a former minister, said, “We were shocked to see that Left Front workers, supporters and leaders worked and voted for Adhir Chowdhury.”
Chowdhury gives ‘6+’ seats to Congress in Bengal. However, he is not sure about the ‘post-poll equation’ with TMC. “In the next two to three days, lots of alliance would be formed and cancelled. I am not sure if there will be a post-poll alliance between Congress and TMC. It depends on Soniaji,” he added.
Chowdhurywants to be sure the counting agents are safe. “I try to talk to the counting agents personally. They are under threat,” he said.