In view of the Trinamool Congress (TMC’s) popularity in East and West Midnapore districts, it is quite clear that the Left Front will face a tough challenge in this constituency.
In 2011 Assembly elections, Probodh Chandra Panda of the Left Front had defeated Ajit Maity of the Trinamool- Congress alliance by 1,234 votes. Shambhunath Handa of the BJP got 7,681 votes.
The Trinamool-Congress alliance got severed and in 2014 Lok Sabha polls from the same segment, TMC’s Deb got 90,842 votes while Manas Bhuniya of the Congress got 15, 528 votes and Santosh Rana of the CPI(M) got 65, 357 votes.
The BJP candidate Mohammad Alam got 15, 737 votes. Statistically, the Trinamool Congress is far ahead of its competitors. If the number of votes received by the Left Front and the Congress in 2014 Lok Sabha polls are added up, then also the Trinamool Congress had taken a lead of over 10,000 votes.
Over the years, massive erosion has taken place in the Left Front vote bank. Majority of youngsters have either joined the TMC or have become the party sympathisers. There is absolutely no reason to think why should they cast their vote in favour of Congress-LF alliance.
But the worst thing that had hit the area is the Left-Congress alliance. Midnapore has been a Congress stronghold even before Independence. Though it had produced Left leaders like Biswanath Mukherjee and Gita Mukherjee, the highest number of Indian revolutionaries who had received life term and sent to Andaman were from Midnapore.
During the Left regime between 1977-2011, Pingla became famous or rather infamous notoriety. Hundreds of Congress workers were assaulted and butchered here. But despite that the Congress still has its base in the area.
Alliance between the Congress and the Left Front has not gone well with people. They have questioned the leaders that why should they participate in joint rallies and why should they hold red flag.
“I was born in a Congress family and in 1967-69, the CPI(M) had killed my uncle. Now, why should I join rallies with them,” asked Amit Maity.
Leaders of both the Congress and the Left Front have realised that vote transfer would be a major problem in the area. Also, the TMC is likely to get back a certain per cent of vote that had gone to the BJP in 2014.
TMC seems to have realised that winning this seat will not be a problem at all.