Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, veteran Trinamool Congress leader will contest from the Rashbehari Assembly constituency for the second time.
Chattopadhyay along with Anil Mukherjee were among the first batch of leaders who joined Trinamool Congress from the Congress. Chattopadhyay was an undisputed trade union leader in Kolkata Municipal Corporation. His organisational capacity is unquestioned and knowing full well that he is going to retain the seat he is not taking even the slightest of chance and is taking part in road shows and door to door campaign.
In vast areas falling under this constituency waterlogging was a major problem. The problem has been ironed out after the civic authorities upgraded the sewer line. After the installation of Kalighat booster pumping station drinking water problem is a matter of the past. Besides trident lamps, bright LED lamps have been installed and Rashbehari Avenue at night looks brilliant as the ambience of the road has changed. The bus shelters have been built for the passengers.
If we look at the constituency purely on the basis of statistics then also Chattopadhyay has a clear majority and is several steps ahead of his competitors. In 2011 Chattopadhyay defeated his rival Shantanu Basu of CPI(M) by a margin of 49,000 votes. Before 2014 Lok Sabha polls, TMC’s friendship with Congress ended and TMC candidate Subrata Bakshi took a lead of 8331 votes from this assembly segment. Bakshi got 50,322 votes while the Left Front candidate got 29,550 votes and Congress got 10,000 votes. Thus if we add the votes received by Congress and CPI(M) it is less than what Bakshi had received. But the most important factor is BJP. The BJP candidate had got 41,991 votes. The BJP has failed to retain its vote bank and this was evident as all the TMC councillors won from this segment.
Political experts said that more than 50 per cent of this vote will come to TMC and if that really happens then Chatterjee will win by a huge margin. In 2013 real problems cropped up within TMC after Chatterjee’s difference with Arup Biswas widened. At one time people thought that Chattopadhyay would not get ticket this time. He was sidelined from the trade union front. But remaining cool, Chattopadhyay sorted out all the problems and at the same time secured his position. “I always maintain cool and by talking to the local people I have received an indication that I will be able to retain my seat,” Chattopadhyay said confidently. This confidence will widen his smile on May 19 after the results are out.