Subrata Mukherjee will have to wait till 19 May only to know by how many votes his margin has gone up in Ballygunge assembly constituency.
At the age of 27, Mukherjee was the youngest minister in Siddhartha Shankar Roy’s cabinet between 1972-77. He was an INTUC leader for decades and was the Mayor between 2000-05. He also had differences with Mamata Banerjee and left TMC for which the party lost civic poll in 2005.
This is Mukherjee’s greatest regret. Now, he is one of the trusted lieutenant of Banerjee and his Panchayat and Rural Development department has bagged the best award for carrying out work under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Mukherjee is a man of sharp political sense and intelligence. In the 1970s, his name used to be clubbed with Priyaranjan Das Munshi and uttered with same breath.
Mukherjee is a known face in the area. He has organisation and workers who are veterans of many battles. He is pitted against Krishna Debnath of the Congress. If we go by statistics, Mukherjee is far ahead of his competitor. In 2011, he won the seat by defeating his rival by 41,185 votes. He defeated Fuhad Halim of the CPI(M), who got 47,009 votes. The TMC had alliance with the Congress in 2011 and many say that because of this he could win by such huge margin.
In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Subrata Bakshi of Trinamool Congress took a lead of 18, 382 votes. The Left Front got 32,176 votes and the Congress got 31, 013 votes in 2014. The BJP got 36, 337 votes. BJP will play a deciding role in helping Mukherjee to retain his seat. Even if we accept that the CPI(M) will transfer all its vote in favour of the Congress, hardcore Congress supporters of the area who are opposed to the alliance will vote for either TMC or NOTA. The BJP is unable to retain its vote bank and a sizeable percentage vote will come to TMC.
Ballygunge area has been given a new look in the past five years. There is no waterlogging and drinking water problem. The old street lights have been replaced by sodium vapour lamps. The garbage vats have been replaced by compactors.