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Trinamool relies on actor Birbaha Hansda’s magic to regain stronghold over Jhargram seat

The Mamata Banerjee-led party has faced stiff competition in the constituency with the BJP winning the seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury | Jhargram |
Updated: March 25, 2021 7:54:54 pm
West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021TMC candidate from Jhargram Birbaha Hansda (third from left) poses for a picture with the locals on Thursday. (Express Photo: Santanu Chowdhury)

The Trinamool Congress, which is aiming to regain its stronghold over Jhargram, is relying heavily on Birbaha Hansda, a popular face in the area owing to her acting career, for a win.

Addressing a rally in Circus Maidan, Jhargram, Hansda said, “The BJP is trying to divide the tribal community as they know that they do not have their support. The BJP candidate is luring people with money. They want to intimidate voters by creating an atmosphere of terror.”

The statements come days after TMC worker Durga Soren was allegedly killed by BJP workers in Jhargram and the saffron party’s candidate, Sukhmoy Satpati, in a purported video, was seen luring people with money during election campaigning.

Hansda was seen speaking in Santhali during a public meeting held for the tribal community that also TMC MP Sougata Roy attended.

Once a hotbed of the Maoist movement in the state, Jhargram has been witnessing a close fight between the TMC and the saffron party.

Although the TMC had won the Jhargram Assembly seat in 2016, the BJP had managed to clinch victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It is one of the places in Bengal where the saffron party has made huge inroads since the 2018 state panchayat polls. Not only Jhargram, there has been a saffron surge in the entire Jangalmahal area in Bengal since the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In a bid to arrest the BJP’s momentum, the TMC has fielded Birbaha Hansda, the daughter of late Naren Hansda, former MLA and founder of the Jharkhand Party (Naren).

TMC MP Sougata Roy TMC MP Sougata Roy addresses a rally in Jhargram on Thursday. (Express Photo: Santanu Chowdhury)

Speaking at the event, Sougata Roy said, “The DM and SP of Jhargram are allowing BJP leaders to hold political programmes despite not having permissions. We will appeal to the administration to play an impartial role. After May 2, we will take action against those who will not function impartially.”

Meanwhile, the BJP seems to be confident that it will win the seat. “We have organisational strength and support of the people. The tribal community had supported us in 2019 and will do so again,” Satpathy said.

According to a senior BJP leader, the TMC candidate is trying to woo voters by emotions as she has no political experience. “She was made the candidate two days after joining the party. Even local TMC workers are not happy with the decision,” the leader added.

On Thursday, which is the last day of campaigning for the first phase, Shah is scheduled to hold a road show in Jhargram. Bollywood superstar Mithun Chakrabarty, who joined the BJP on March 7, will hold another roadshow on Thursday in Jhargram which goes to the polls on March 27.

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