A tough fight is expected in Chowringhee Assembly constituency where Nayana Bandopadhyay of Trinamool Congress is pitted against veteran Congress leader and former WBPCC president Somen Mitra.
It is really impossible to predict any result and the balance is evenly poised.
In 2014 Nayana Bandopadhyay won the seat in a by-election by defeating Santosh Pathak of Congress by 13,000 votes. The seat fell vacant after Sikha Mitra, wife of Somen Mitra won the seat in 2011 by 57,739 votes. TMC then had alliance with Congress. The RJD candidate Bimal Singh got 21,711 votes and BJP candidate Shahnawaz Ahmed got 4799 votes.
In 2014 Lok Sabha election, Sudip Bandopadhyay of TMC got 34,440 votes while Congress got 35,988 votes and Left Front got 10,796 votes. BJP got29,503 votes. Bandopadhyay took a lead of 1548 votes only from the segment.
So, two factors are important. Firstly, whether BJP whose candidate Ritesh Tewari will be able to retain the lead and secondly, whether, Trinamool will be able to woo a sizeable percent of the votes to its sides. If the votes received by Congress and Left Front in 2014 are added up it is more than what TMC candidate got in 2014 Lok Sabha poll. It is difficult for BJP to retain the votes and TMC will gain from this. TMC will also get the votes of a big chunk of non Bengali muslims who were with Mitra and now are backing Sultan Ahmed-Iqbal Amhed duo. If Mitra succeeds in getting back the support of non Bengali Muslim voters who are his old friends, it will be difficult for TMC to retain the seat.
Somen Mitra has his own pull in the area. But his popularity has gone down ever since he joined TMC and became its MP and is now being considered to be an opportunist by many. This is certainly a negative point. Also, Congress-Left Front alliance has not gone well in the area and TMC is likely to reap benefits out of this.
Nayana Bandopadhyay is leaving no stone unturned. From door to door to road shows, she is projecting the development that has been carried out by Mamata Banerjee. In the past four and a half years the civic amenities in Chowringhee constituency have been improved and majority of the people are happy with the steps taken by KMC to beautify the area and keep it clean.