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Boost to health infra & water supply: Advantage for TMC

HALDIA: Be it the boost given to health infrastructure, widening of roads or supply of safe drinking water to households, the various development works implemented by the Mamata Banerjee-led government will act as an added advantage for Trinamool Congress (TMC) party in Haldia Assembly Constituency.

Though the seat was won by the Left in 2016, political analysts opined that TMC would have an edge over its rivals for the development works carried out in the region over the past 10 years.

The industrial town also has a modern sewerage system now. TMC has fielded Swapan Naskar as its candidate from Haldia. Naskar, who is immensely popular for his social activities in Haldia Municipality, said: "Despite not having our MLA here, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee undertook a series of development works as her government never carries out development based on political affiliations. But I would like to mention that despite all support, the MLA here had failed to utilize the opportunities."

Meanwhile, BJP has fielded turncoat CPI (M) MLA Tapasi Mondal from the constituency. This has led to widespread resentment among electorates. Mondal had won by around 21,501 votes in 2016 from Haldia as a CPI (M) candidate. But, she joined BJP in December 2020 along with Suvendu Adhikari.

Though she claimed that her reason behind joining BJP is "to seamlessly continue working with people", a large section of people from her constituency are not ready to accept the defection. The locals believe that she is 'hungry for power.'

Ironically, Mondal—who now shares the dias with Suvendu Adhikari—had attended meetings in the past with the then TMC leader's arch rival, Lakshman Seth. "Why should we elect such an opportunist?" asked Ranjit Dandapath, a middle-aged man at Basudebpur in Haldia.

"We are tired of listening about mismanagement by the local MLA in Haldia since the Left Front regime. Now, the same Left MLA is BJP's candidate. It is unfortunate," said a local resident on conditions of anonymity.

It is also interesting to note though CPI (M) had won by 21,501 votes in 2016 Assembly polls, TMC was ahead by 63,821 votes from the constituency when Dibyendu Adhikari had contested in 2019 Parliamentary elections from Tamluk Lok Sabha seat.

In such a scenario, Naskar has vowed to bring further development to the constituency. "I will stress on better arrangement of street lights in the rural areas, if I get elected. The same was neglected by the previous MLA," Naskar said.

The Assembly constituency, comprising Haldia Municipal area and Sutahata block, has around 3 lakh electorates in both urban and rural areas.

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