Ground level work helped TMC excel in North Bengal
The Trinamool Congress has got heavy dividends by bagging 24 seats in North Bengal. This is the result of all round sustainable development which included distribution of rice at Rs 2 per kg, bicycles to students of state-run schools under Sabuj Sathi project, widening and upgradation of roads including the rural ones, bringing 51 enclaves under India where elections were held for the first time since independence and setting up of an administrative headquarter, Uttar Kanya, for better monitoring of work. Division of Alipurduar and making it into a new district has also gone in favour of the party.
In 2011 Assembly elections, Trinamool Congress had managed to get 16 seats out of 54 in the then six North Bengal Districts — Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Uttar Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda. This time, Trinamool Congress has got 20 seats from these six districts and 4 from the newly-formed Alipurduar district.
Number of seats in Cooch Behar, where sharing of enclaves and construction of bridge had played a major role, has gone up to eight compared to that of four in 2011. Udayan Guha, who had won the election from Dinhata Assembly seat in Cooch Behar in 2011 as a Forward Bloc MLA, was the nominee of Trinamool Congress this time and he won the election by 21,793 votes.
Trinamool Congress won four seats out of five in Alipurduar leaving only one for BJP. Interestingly, the party had bagged only Falakata Assembly constituency out of these five in 2011.
Again in Jalpaiguri, TMC won in six out of the seven Assembly seats. The party lost the Jalpaiguri seat only by 5,157 votes where sitting MLA of Congress Sukhbilas Barma managed to retain the constituency in his favour. Sitting MLA and state’s North Bengal development minister Goutam Deb won the election by 23,811 votes.
CPI(M)’s Ashok Bhattacharya, who had emerged as the person behind the “Siliguri model” by joining hands with Congress and won the Siliguri Municipal Corporation election, won from Siliguri Assembly constituency. He was defeated by Rudranath Bhattacharya of Trinamool Congress in 2011 from the same seat. This resulted in Trinamool Congress losing its only seat in Darjeeling district.
Trinamool Congress has also gained two more seats in North Dinajpur. But Trinamool Congress didn’t perform at par with its result in 2011 election in South Dinajpur and Malda districts. Number of seats of the party has gone down to two from five in South Dinajpur and it had failed to retain its only seat
Manikchak Assembly constituency in Malda. Sabitri Mitra, who was minster in Mamata Banerjee’s Cabinet in the last term, lost from Manikchak.