Kolkata, May 5 : The man - who has earned the sobriquet of 'Google Uncle' for being a connoisseur of Parliamentary rules and regulations - is likely to return to the Lok Sabha on the Trinamool Congress ticket for the fourth and third consecutive term sans many hiccups from Dum Dum Parliamentary constituency, which was once dubbed the red bastion.
The man is none other than Prof Sougata Roy whose posters are splashed all across the Lok Sabha constituency.
Roy is facing at least two heavyweight candidates this time on a turf where he won by a margin of 1, 54, 934 votes last time.
Roy emerged victorious in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections by defeating the CPI (M) candidate and former state Finance Minister Asim Kumar Dasgupta. Roy managed to get 483244 votes defeating Mr Dasgupta who got 328310 votes.
This time he is pitted against CPI (M) candidate Nepaldeb Bhattacharya, BJP candidate Samik Bhattacharya and Congress candidate Saurav Saha.
The stakes are high for ruling TMC and the BJP, which is trying to expand its presence in the Mamata Banerjee-ruled state which sends 42 MPs to Lok Sabha.
In an interview with a newspaper recently, Roy said, ' The BJP had 10 per cent vote share in West Bengal; now they have increased it to some extent. This is mainly due to the fact that the CPI (M), which was once the principal party here, has weakened to a great extent. As a result, the BJP has filled the Opposition space. Still, there is a huge gap in terms of vote share between the TMC and BJP. '
He said, '' The BJP is attempting divisive politics. They are highlighting communal issues, which are influencing a small section of people. Bengal will not be wooed with such divisive politics. Here people are with Mamata Banerjee. BJP is indulging in violence in West Bengal. '
However, with growing BJP factor in the state the fight in Dum Dum might not be a cakewalk for Prof Roy who first went to Parliament in 1977 and as a TMC leader in 2009 and 2014 and had even assumed Office of union minister of the state till Mamata Banerjee walked out of UPA 2 in 2012.
Roy, a veteran politician and former Minister of State for Urban Development, is popularly called Google Uncle because of his wide, in-depth knowledge of parliamentary norms and regulations.
'Young MPs address me as Google Uncle out of affection. They say that when it comes to information about parliamentary norms and topics of debate, asking me is more fruitful than doing a Google search, ” Mr Roy said.
Roy is not just an MP or a minister. He is a successful academician as well.
The sitting MP from Dum Dum is a National Science Talent Search Scholar. From Presidency College, Kolkata, he got an M. Sc. Degree in physics. He has yet another degree of law from the University of Calcutta.
The senior leader of ruling TMC used to teach in the Ashutosh College. Having retired from Ashutosh College, he involved himself more and more in active politics.
Roy was also the General Secretary of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (the state unit of Congress) from 1973 to 1977. After the formation of the All India Trinamool Congress, he left Congress and joined All India Trinamool Congress.
As a candidate of the TMC, Roy was elected in the 15th Parliamentary Election. Previously, he was elected from the Barrackpore Lok Sabha Constituency; it was in 1977.
Meanwhile, Roy has served in the state legislature. He was elected for the state legislature from Alipore, Dhakuria and Bangaon.
Dum Dum voters still remember late Tapan Sikdar as a minister who made cellphone calls cheaper in Bengal, and tried to revive a few factories like Bengal Chemical and Bengal Immunity and campaigned for BJP even when it had a humble presence and managed a surprise win when Left was largely unchallenged.
In 1999, Sikdar as a BJP candidate took everyone to surprise by bagging more than half of the votes in Dum Dum.
As per the Election Commission data in 2019, a total number of electorate in Dum Dum Lok Sabha seat is 15, 56, 725 of whom 7, 76, 240 are male 7, 80, 440 female and 45 third genders voters. A total number of 1761 polling stations would be set up for voting.
As per order of the Delimitation Commission in respect of the delimitation of constituencies in the West Bengal, parliamentary constituency no. 16 Dum Dum is composed of the seven assembly segments such as Khardaha, Dum Dum Uttar, Panihati, Kamarhati, Baranagar, Dum Dum and Rajarhat Gopalpur.
Dum Dum will vote during the last round of the seven-phase election on May 19. The result will be declared on May 23. (UNI)