Social schemes, strong local support to tip Hooghly LS seat in favour of Rachana

Social schemes, strong local support to   tip Hooghly LS seat in favour of Rachana

Kolkata: Prominent social schemes of the Bengal government, including Lakshmir Bhandar and a strong organisation of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) may give an edge to its party candidate Rachana Banerjee over BJP’s Locket Chatterjee in Hooghly Lok Sabha (LS) constituency.

Since all the seven MLAs from the Assembly segments of Hooghly LS belong to TMC, all these MLAs are actively galvanising their support bases in

Banerjee’s favour.

The Assembly constituencies are Singur, Chandannagar, Chunchura, Balagarh, Pandua, Saptagram and Dhanekhali. Singur agitation by the TMC contributed towards the major victory by Mamata Banerjee’s party in 2011.

Mamata Banerjee has roped in famous TV actor and host of the show ‘Didi No.1’, Rachna Banerjee, to wrest Hooghly from the BJP.

Through her rigorous campaign, Rachna Banerjee has emerged as a formidable candidate and she is favoured by women voters in the constituency.

Rachana has posed a serious challenge to her political opponent Locket Chatterjee who is the sitting MP from the seat. Mandip Ghosh from the CPI(M) is among the long list of contenders racing for this seat.

All the TMC cadres are aggressively campaigning and reaching out to voters via door-to-door campaigns highlighting how the social schemes of the Mamata Banerjee government helped people from all walks of life.

Most prominent among these is the Lakshmir Bhandar scheme, which was launched in 2021 to provide women belonging to the general category a stipend of Rs 500 every month, while the amount for SC and ST women was fixed at Rs 1,000.

Rachana is attracting significant crowds during her rallies and public events, especially in rural areas.

Muslims, who constitute more than 14 per cent voters in Hooghly LS, are also expected to provide the TMC a major boost.

Moreover, the TMC, controls most of the local bodies and administration in the Hooghly district. Party’s internal feud has also given BJP candidate Locket Chatterjee a worry. BJP does not have a similar organisational strength that TMC has in the ground. Local BJP leaders and activists have themselves flagged the alleged indifferent attitude of Locket Chatterjee towards them. In March, several posters appeared against Chatterjee, purportedly put up by BJP mandal presidents who did not favour her as the Hooghly LS candidate for the second time. It was also alleged by a section that the people hardly see the MP in the constituency after the election is over.

In the 2019 general elections, Locket Chatterjee, with 6,71,448 votes and 46.06 per cent of the vote share, defeated TMC’s Ratna De with 73,362 marginal votes.

The constituency will vote on May 20 in Phase 5 and the results will be declared on June 4.

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