By Biswamoy MukherjeeKolkata, May 8 : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s trusted lieutenant Sudip Bandyopadhyay is at ease even though the incumbent MP from this seat is facing some sort of challenge from his prime challenger, BJP national secretary and former president of the party’s state unit Rahul Sinha.
Sinha was himself defeated by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) from Jorasankho, one of the Assembly segments under the North Kolkata constituency in 2016. Mr Bandyopadhyay, earlier an MP from the now-defunct Kolkata North West constituency, won the seat in 2009 when it came into existence after delimitation. He defeated CPI (M)'s Mohammed Salim over a margin of 1.10 lakh votes that year.
In 2014, he retained the seat defeated his nearest BJP candidate Rahul Sinha by a margin of 96,000 votes and is eyeing a hat-trick this year. The prestigious Kolkata Uttar, traditionally a Trinamool Congress (TMC) bastion, and the constituency has voted in favour of the party candidate since 2009, is set to witness a four-cornered battle in this year's Lok Sabha elections. In the clash of titans, the sitting Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Sudip Bandopadhaya, is being challenged by BJP national secretary and former president of the party’s state unit Rahul Sinha, CPI(M)'s Kaninika Bose Ghosh and Congress’s Syed Shahid Imam.
Mr Bandyopadhyay during his campaign in the constituency said there was no alternative to the ruling party in the state, and that it would win all 42 Bengal seats in the coming Lok Sabha elections. “We have been saying from the beginning that we will win 42 seats… There is no alternative to TMC in Bengal. The BJP has no prospect here,” the sitting MP said. He said Mr Modi will not become the Prime Minister this time.
The situation will be clear after the Lok Sabha elections. But, like my leader Mamata Banerjee said, Congress will not win more seats and the BJP will win only 150-160 seats, one thing is certain, Trinamool Congress will emerge as the decider of the next Government. The MP said, “In my own constituency, I have had regular contacts and interactions with the people. I have always made myself accessible to my voters. They are satisfied with my performance.
I am deeply satisfied with my performance on the floor of the House for the last five years. I have no regrets.” “The only sphere where we could not succeed is that we could not convince the Government to give Bengal a financial package. This is a pending issue which we will work on after the Lok Sabha elections,” Mr Bandyopadhyay said. “I was one of the most vocal critics of Narendra Modi and his policies like demonetisation. I had to pay for it,” he said..
When asks him about his fair assessment about his chances of getting re-elected. His answer: “I have been a four-time MLA and four-time MP from this place. I am seeking re-election for the ninth time. People here know about my track record. I have never failed them as their representative. I don’t think I need to tell anything to the people of this place,” said Mr Bandyopadhyay, before hopping onto a hoodless Gypsy in front of College Street market for a roadshow in Ward 39. UNI