Behala (West) to witness fight between veteran leader Partha & new BJP entrant Srabanti
Kolkata: With the state bracing up for 4th phase Assembly elections in 44 Assembly constituency, Behala (West) is all set to witness an interesting contest between four-time MLA and Trinamool Congress veteran Partha Chatterjee and Tollywood celebrity-turned-BJP candidate Srabanti Chatterjee. Nihar Bhakta, the outgoing CPI (M) councilor of ward 127 in Sarsuna is the Sanjukta Morcha's nominee from the seat.
Chatterjee had dealt a blow to the strong CPI (M) bastion in Behala West by defeating Nirmal Mukherjee of CPI (M) by a margin of 19000 votes during the 2001 Assembly elections. The people of Behala have always stood behind their favourite 'Katu Da' (Chatterjee's nick name) since.
In 2006 when the Left Front won 234 out of the 294 seats in the state, Chatterjee was an exception coming out with flying colours. He went to increase his victory margin further in 2011 when the TMC led by their party chairperson Mamata Banerjee put an end to the 34-year-old hegemony of the Left.
Chatterjee's victory margin, however, dipped in 2016 when he defeated Kaustav Chatterjee of Left Front by 8,000 votes. "The induction of Behala into Kolkata Police area after Mamata Banerjee came to power has led to a significant improvement in law and order situation. We have come up with a dedicated polytechnic college at Parnasree. B.Ed University's second campus has come up at Sarsuna. Major portion of the roads have been made of concrete and most importantly the Vidyasagar State General Hospital has seen a major boost in infrastructure and people will vote for the development work done," a confident Chatterjee said. He blamed the Centre for delay in executing the Joka- BBD Bag metro project that would give a major boost to the transport infrastructure in Behala.
Meanwhile, Srabanti Chatterjee is buoyed by the increase in the margin of BJP votes during the 2019 Parliamentary elections where TMC had trailed in six wards under Behala West and East. "Scarcity of potable drinking water and water-logging issues are still crippling Behala. My priority will be to address these issues," said
CPI (M)'s Bhakta is also reaching out to voters with the assurance of solving water scarcity and solid waste management issues. "We had 42 per cent vote share in 2016 against the TMC's 47.3 per cent. We are hopeful of regaining this seat," Bhakta added.
An interesting feature of the Behala West constituency is the fact that female voters (1650502) are more than male voters (152237) with a gender ratio of 1054.