West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee might contest from a second ‘safe’ seat in addition to Nandigram in the upcoming assembly elections. Banerjee is perhaps likely to fight from Tollygunge in South Kolkata, Sunday Guardian reports.
TMC sources quoted in the report mentioned that the TMC supremo will be unable to aggressively campaign in Nandigram owing to her leg injury and hence Tollygunge is being considered as an alternative seat as she does not want to take any chances.
It is important to note that CM Banerjee will face BJP heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram. Adhikari, a former trusted lieutenant of the CM, had left the TMC in acrimonious circumstances in December. He joined the BJP in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and has risen in prominence in the saffron party since then.
His influence in the Medinapore region is considered to be instrumental for BJP’s electoral prospects. Banerjee had openly challenged Adhikari whilst publicly declaring her candidature from Nandigram in February. The former state cabinet minister took the challenge heads on and the BJP fielded him from the much-anticipated constituency a couple of weeks ago.
In fact, the TMC had already fielded veteran party leader Aroop Biswas from Tollygunge. However, party sources have informed the publication that Biswas has been told to go slow in his campaigning.
In fact, even posters and graffiti with his name have been put on hold currently. Whilst announcing the candidates' list, Banerjee had gently implied that she could contest from Tollygunge too, a place that is considered to be the hub of the Bengali film industry.
Perhaps pre-anticipating this move, the BJP has already fielded Union Minister Babul Supriyo from there. Supriyo is a famed singer and one of the most popular faces of the saffron party in the state.
He is naturally believed to exert heavy influence in the local cinema industry and will undoubtedly put forth a stiff challenge if Banerjee decides to contest from there. Importantly, 23rd March is the last day for final nominations from Tollygunge.
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