Trinamool Congress nominee for Cossipore-Belgachia constituency Mala Saha is looking confident to retain her seat.
Saha, as a Trinamool Congress candidate, had won the seat by 40,284 votes in 2011 elections. Her rival Kaninika Ghosh is contesting as a CPI(M) candidate backed by Congress in the seat.
In 2014 Lok Sabha election, Trinamool Congress candidate Sudip Bandopadhyay from Kolkata North constituency took a lead of over 27,000 votes than his CPI(M) rival Rupa Bagchi in this segment. Congress candidate Somen Mitra got 14,445 votes and Rahul Sinha of BJP got 37,468 votes which was more than his Congress and CPI(M) rivals. So, statistically Mala Saha is ahead of her competitor.
But physically also Trinamool’s development work had put her much ahead of her rivals. Banerjee at a meeting held in her residence in December last year had asked Saha to go out of her house and talk to people. After this Saha did not take any chance and started establishing contacts with people.
Belgachia was the CPI(M) stronghold and the constituency had returned Rajdeo Goala several times. Veteran CPI(M) leaders like Lakshmi Sen and Satya Bandopadhyay used to lead the party in the area in 1970s and 1980s.
The alliance has become a major burden for CPI(M) candidate Kaninika Ghosh. Many of the local people had seen the red terror unleashed by the CPI(M) and how they had behaved with the Congress. The past memories are haunting them and Congress supporters are not talking part in the rallies. To show that there is an alliance, CPI(M) leaders have given the Congress flag to some of the cadres.
Even CPI(M) leaders know that Congress voters would either abstain from voting or they would vote for TMC candidate. To boost up the cadres, they told them that the alliance had a fair chance to come to power and they should work hard to ensure win of the candidates.
Development works like repairing of roads, beautification of parks and augmentation of drinking water supply have put Saha on a solid foundation. Even the Opposition admitted that the area was looking better and so their only weapon is to spread canard against Banerjee.
“The people know that we are there with them and will again vote for me,” said Saha.
Trinamool workers believe that she will increase the margin which can be known only after the votes are counted on May 19.