Mamata Banerjee to kick-start poll campaign from Malda
On March 9 she will address a workers’ meeting in Malda. Then she will move to Murshidabad and will address two workers’ convention in Murshidabad and Suti on March 10. She will address 150 rallies all over the state.
Banerjee’s kickstarting the election campaign at Malda is very significant as Malda is said to be a Congress stronghold since the time of ABA Ghani Khan Chowdhury in the 1970s. Khan Chowdhury was the Irrigation minister in Siddhartha Shankar Roy’s cabinet. He later became the Railway minister and was instrumental in shaping Malda town. Many Congress workers of Malda got jobs in the Indian Railways. His legacy continues till this very day and two of the MPs from Malda, Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury is his brother and Mausam Noor his niece.
Political experts said the election equation in Malda was different this time because of the unofficial electoral alliance. Congress is not ready to give up the seats where its candidates did well in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. A sizeable per cent of Congress voters will vote for Trinamool Congress as they would be asked to vote for the Left Front ones.
The political experts believe that it is impossible for hardcore Congress workers to cast their votes in favour of CPI(M) and vice versa. They said that this would be an advantage to Trinamool. Also, in both Malda and Murshidabad BJP is strong in some pockets. After the Kaliachowk incident in December 2015, BJP has gained some ground as they have campaigned against Trinamool saying that the party was backing communal forces for the benefit in the election.
Political experts said that though Murshidabad is a Congress bastion and is the area of Adhir Chowdhury, the age old Congress voters are confused over the unofficial alliance. Seat Adjustment will be a major problem in Murshidabad and Congress have survived after waging fight against CPI(M). Now, if the voters of either parties are asked to vote for the right or left candidate it will be difficult for the voters to follow. Trinamool had deputed Subhendu Adhikari to look after Murshidabad. Though he is contesting from Nandigram, he has his men to conduct polls.
Trinamool candidates started their political campaign in their respective areas. Firhad Hakim started campaigning in the Port area. Vaishali Dalmiya, daughter of Jagmohan Dalmiya gave puja at Belur Math and started campaign in Bali.
Trinamool insiders said that Banerjee will urge the workers to give up infighting and work together to ensure victory of party candidates. Party insiders said that Bannerjee was not at all happy by the way in some pockets, resentment is brewing up against the candidates. This is likely to take up a severe form in North Bengal and to iron out all these problems Banerjee has decided to kick-start her political campaign from North Bengal. She will go to Jangalmahal towards the third week of this month where elections will be held on April 4 and 11. She will urge all her party workers to go to people and tell them about the success story of the projects taken up in the districts.