End of red terror and establishment of peace will help Trinamool Congress to ensure victory in this seat. The poll will be held on April 4, first day of the first phase of election. Birendranath Tudu of Trinamool Congress has been pitted against the former CPI(M) minister Upen Kisku.
It will not be out of context to quickly go through the election record. The areas surrounding Raipur Sarenga and parts of Barikul police station fall under this constituency. Trinamool Congress lost to Kisku in 2011 election by 182 votes only. Then in 2013 Panchayat elections, Trinamool Congress candidate got 18,000 votes and in 2014 Lok Sabha poll, Moon moon Sen got a lead of 28,000 votes from this segment. Raipur and Sarenga was the epicentre of Maoist activities in Bankura. Clashes were frequent and villagers saw gun trotting toughs known as “harmads” appointed by the CPI(M) setting up a reign of terror.
The harmads used to stay in the schools and for years together no classes were held. The harmads used the children as couriers and forced them to wash their clothes. The situation started changing after Trinamool Congress came to power in 2011. Mamata Banerjee began visiting the area and that had helped the people to re-establish their confidence in the state government. Hunger, malnutrition, abject poverty and mounting unemployment are the key problems in the area. A concrete bridge is coming up replacing a fair weather bridge. People still remember that shortly after the 2011 election, a bus carrying passengers over the bridge on the Bhairabbanki river was washed away by freak tide killing 10 people including two children.
Rs 2 kg rice, introduction of Santhali language as a medium of instruction and absorption of people in 100 days works have created magic in the area. Under jal bharo, jal dharo project several embankments have been repaired.
Financial assistance has come to several educational institutions like Pandit Raghunath Murmu College, Dharampur Junior High School, Fulkushma Nityabala balika Vidyalaya, Mandalkuli Rajlakshmi Balika Vidyalaya etc. With the money the school buildings and hostels have been repaired. The drop out of girl students has gone done because of the Kanyashree project. The work at Sabuj Dweep, a tourism project named by Mamata Banerjee has begun. The area is likely to be a tourist spot soon.
Apurba Rabi Mondol, a local teacher, said for the first time the issue of election is development versus non development. “People have seen how the area has developed in the past four and a half years.”