Congress now a depleted force in erstwhile strongholds
At a time when CPI(M) and Congress heavyweights are busy trying to resolve the seat sharing stalemate in 21 constituencies, the Left Front leaders are slowly realising that Congress has lost ground in all the areas which were once used to be called its stronghold. In Kolkata CPI(M) have supported Congress in Bhowanipore and Rashbehari constituencies from where Mamata Banerjee and Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay are fighting. Both the areas used to be Congress strongholds and realising that CPI(M) did not field its candidates in these constituencies. In Tollygunge, CPI(M) has fielded Madhuja Sen Roy, a young leader of the party against Trinamool heavyweight Aroop Biswas. In Cossipore- Belgachia, CPI(M) has fielded another new face Koninica Ghosh against the sitting Trinamool candidate Mala Saha. A Forward Bloc candidate is contesting against Sashi Panja in Shyampukur. Keen contest is expected in Jorasanko where Rahul Sinha, former BJP state president and now all India secretary is fighting against Trinamool candidate Smita Bakshi.
With this backdrop when CPI(M) workers started working in two constituencies in Kolkata, namely, Bhowanipore and Rashbehari and Bali in Howrah they found that Congress was virtually nonexistent in these areas. The situation is so alarming that there are no Congress workers to write graffiti in these constituencies. Whatever the leaders may say about the people’s alliance, the rank and file is finding it difficult to write the graffiti or organise rallies in favour of Congress candidates and shout slogans on their behalf. The leaders said in these areas workers refused to draw the” hand” the symbol of Congress expressing their inability. Finally, the matter was solved after CPI(M) engaged a party who instructed the cadres to draw the symbol. Similarly, in Bali where former CPI(M) minister Anjan Bera is fighting against Vaishali Dalmiya there are no Congress workers. However, in Chowringhee, the picture is slightly bright where Sikha Mitra, wife of Somen Mitra is contesting against Trinamool’s sitting MLA Nayana Banerjee. What concerns the CPIM leaders is that from these constituencies the party would not get even 5 per cent support from Congress as almost all the Congress supporters have switched over to Trinamool in the past four and a half years. In Jadavpur and Tollygunge, once CPI(M)’s stronghold from where party has fielded Sujan Chakraborty and Madhuja Sen Roy, the party leaders found that majority of voters have shifted their allegiance and CPI(M)’s old slogan of poor law and order situation is not working in these areas.