South Bengal Votes in Final Phase of Lok Sabha Elections

Khushbu Kumari Jha
South Bengal Votes in Final Phase of Lok Sabha Elections
South Bengal Votes in Final Phase of Lok Sabha Elections

The final phase of the Lok Sabha elections in South Bengal, the Trinamool Congress’s stronghold, sees an intense contest with a focus on key constituencies like Diamond Harbor and Basirhat.

South Bengal, considered the traditional stronghold of the Trinamool Congress, is going to vote on Saturday, where the contest between the “new and old” leaders is going to be interesting along with maintaining its dominance for the party in this election. Also, people will keep an eye on Sandeshkhali of Basirhat, which made national headlines due to allegations of atrocities on women and land grabbing. In the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections, voting is going on in Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbor, Jadavpur, Kolkata South and Kolkata North seats of West Bengal on Saturday. Trinamool had won all these seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The results of these nine Lok Sabha constituencies will prove to be important for the dominance of Trinamool in the South Bengal region. Trinamool Congress is trying to maintain its hold in this region amid challenges from the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left-Congress alliance.

1.63 Crore Voters to Cast Their Vote

There are a total of 1.63 crore voters in this phase, of which 83.19 lakh are men, 80.20 lakh are women and 538 are third gender. 17,470 polling stations have been set up for this phase. A total of 124 candidates are contesting in the seventh phase, of which Kolkata South seat has the highest number of 17 candidates, Jadavpur seat has 16 and Basirhat and Kolkata North parliamentary seats have 15 candidates each. 14 candidates are contesting from Dum Dum Lok Sabha seat, while Barasat, Diamond Harbor and Mathurapur (reserved for Scheduled Castes) seats have 12 candidates each. 11 candidates are contesting in Jayanagar parliamentary constituency (reserved for Scheduled Castes). The contest is going to be interesting on many seats in this phase.

Abhishek Banerjee is the Candidate from Diamond Harbour

Trinamool stalwart Abhishek Banerjee is contesting from Diamond Harbor. The party presents this seat as an “ideal constituency”, while the opposition tries to present it as a “laboratory of violence”. This is the reason why the election on this seat in the seventh phase has become interesting. Two-time MP Abhishek Banerjee is pitted against Pratikur Rahman of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Abhijit Das of the BJP.

The Whole Country's Eyes are on Basirhat Lok Sabha Seat

The entire country is watching the election battle in the minority-dominated Basirhat Lok Sabha seat and especially in the Sandeshkhali block. Politics had heated up here due to allegations of atrocities on women and land grabbing by local Trinamool leaders. The BJP fielded Rekha Patra, a local woman who had been vocal on these issues, against Trinamool's strong leader Haji Nurul Islam. Prime Minister Modi himself had met Patra before his election campaign and boosted his morale.

Triangular Contest in Kolkata North Seat

Three-time Trinamool MP and veteran leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay is pitted against four-time Trinamool MLA Tapas Roy from Kolkata North seat. Roy recently joined BJP. The electoral situation in Dum Dum Lok Sabha seat has changed a lot compared to five years ago. In such a situation, the chances of sitting Trinamool MP Saugata Roy on this seat may be good even after a tough challenge from BJP. CPI(M) has fielded party's Central Committee member and state politics veteran Sujan Chakraborty, which could lead to a triangular contest.

Jadavpur Seat is a Matter of Prestige for TMC

The Jadavpur seat, considered historically important for the Trinamool, also remains a matter of prestige for it. Mamata Banerjee won her first election in 1984 by defeating CPI(M) veteran Somnath Chatterjee and made her mark in state politics. The South Bengal region has traditionally been a Trinamool stronghold, with the party winning 30 out of 31 seats in South 24 Parganas, 29 out of 33 seats in North 24 Parganas and all 16 seats in Kolkata in the 2021 assembly elections.