BJP juggernaut in north Bengal faces stiff challenge from Trinamool : The Tribune India

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BJP juggernaut in north Bengal faces stiff challenge from Trinamool

BJP juggernaut in north Bengal faces stiff challenge from Trinamool

Security personnel patrol a residential area in Howrah on Wednesday. PTI



Tribune News Service

Shubhadeep Choudhury

New Delhi, April 10

The electoral contest in three West Bengal constituencies (Cooch Behar, Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri) that go to the polls in the first phase on April 19 is likely to be mainly between the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

The results in these constituencies will determine if the BJP-backed demand for declaring north Bengal a Union Territory enjoys support among the masses in the area.

There are total seven seats in north Bengal and the BJP won six of these in 2019. The TMC is working to bring to a halt the BJP juggernaut here.

The contest in Cooch Behar, in particular, has become a battle of prestige with MoS, Home, Nisith Pramanik seeking re-election from here even as CM Mamata Banerjee has launched an all-out assault against him.

Incidents over the past few days show the seriousness of the TMC-BJP rivalry here. Pramanik and West Bengal minister Udayan Guha almost came to blows on the streets in Cooch Behar during rallies.

The cyclone that hit the area on March 31 became a political issue as rival parties competed with each other in the name of relief to the affected families. In a post on X, the TMC claimed that Guha was attacked by the BJP while he was on way to provide relief to the people.

Mamata Banerjee called Nisith Pramanik a “goonda” and said he was thrown out from the TMC for his troublemaking activities. “He is a cause of shame for the nation. Can the BJP not find a candidate with clean image from the Scheduled Caste community to contest the Cooch Behar seat?” Banerjee said.

Pramanik faces 26 criminal charges, including murder and attempt to murder. Cooch Behar BJP president Sukumar Roy, however, claimed that most of the FIRs against Pramanik were registered after he parted ways with the ruling TMC and joined the saffron party.

Incidentally, Cooch Behar TMC candidate Jagadish Chandra Barma Basunia also has two serious criminal charges against him. A sitting MLA from Sitai, he won the seat in 2016 Assembly poll.

In Jalpaiguri, TMC’s Nirmal Chandra Roy is pitted against BJP’s Jayanta Kumar Roy. In 2019, Roy emerged victorious by bagging 7,60,145 votes against TMC’s Bijoy Chandra Burman, who got 5,76,141 votes.

Manoj Tigga, BJP chief whip in the West Bengal Assembly, has been chosen as the party candidate for the Alipurduar seat against TMC’s Prakash Chik Baraik, who is a sitting member of the Rajya Sabha.

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#BJP #Congress #Trinamool Congress #West Bengal


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