Retaining the last winning margin is Trinamool’s main headache in its Kolkata-Dakshin bastion

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Kolkata, March 26 (IANS) Even in the midst of the surging anti-incumbency factor and pro-BJP opinion poll projections in West Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress can expect a comfortable victory in Kolkata-Dakshin.

Apart from an extremely strong candidate in the sitting Trinamool Congress MP, Mala Roy, who is also the Chairperson of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, there are several other reasons which keep the ruling party ahead of its competitors here.

Kolkata-Dakshin is often considered the most-pampered Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal as it has been nurtured by the ruling party, the state administration and the civic authorities.

One of the reasons for this is that Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, is not just a voter from and resident of Kolkata-Dakshin, but she was also an elected MP from here for six consecutive terms since 1991, before she resigned in 2011 after becoming CM.

So the CM’s long political and emotional connect with this constituency has always kept Kolkata-Dakshin in the spotlight for special attention.

Plus, Mala Roy’s twin role has helped her nurture the constituency in an orchestrated manner.

Apart from this, four out of the seven MLAs of the seven Assembly constituencies under Kolkata-Dakshin are heavyweight members in the state Cabinet, which includes Mamata Banerjee (Bhabanipur), Firhad Hakim (Kolkata Port), Javed Ahmed Khan (Kasba) and Babul Supriyo (Ballygunge).

Before his arrest, former state education minister and Trinamool Congress Secretary General, Partha Chatterjee, the number of MLAs was five as Chatterjee is the sitting TMC legislator from Behala-Paschim, under Kolkata-Dakshin.

This heavyweight representation is keeping the ruling party a couple of miles ahead even before the beginning of the Lok Sabha race.

In such a situation the only headache for Mala Roy is whether she will be able to retain her 2019 Lok Sabha poll winning margin of over 1,50,000 votes and share of 47.50 per cent of the total votes polled.

On the other hand, the BJP has fielded Debasree Chaudhuri, its sitting Lok Sabha member from Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency in North Dinajpur District from Kolkata-Dakshin this time.

With Kolkata-Dakshin being an unknown turf for her, Debasree Chaudhuri is depending on the slogans of development under the leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to catch the attention of the voters of the constituency.

Also in the fray is CPI(M)’s Saira Shah Halim, quite an interesting personality both in terms of pedigree and professional achievement.

The niece of iconic actor Naseeruddin Shah and daughter of former Deputy Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Zameer Uddin Shah (Retired), Saira Shah Halim, before joining politics was a business development and communications trainer with the West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation Limited.

Plus, after marriage she inherited the legacy of Marxist leanings as her husband Dr Fuad Halim, is a popular leader of the CPI(M). Dr Fuad Halim’s father, late Hashim Abdul Halim, had been the longest-serving Speaker of the West Bengal Assembly from 1982 to 2011.



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