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Phase 3: New faces fight turncoats in WB

South 24 Parganas comprising 16 seats have been the fortress of TMC; Swapan and Kanti in fray and TMC has brought in several new faces


In the third phase of elections tomorrow, 31 constituencies have new faces wrestling with turncoats. Political sway and its quotient deficit encapsulate the volatile climate.

Former speaker of dissolved state Assembly, Biman Banerjee will contest from Baruipur (west). Former minister of state minority affairs department, Giasuddin Mills will tussle in Mograhat (west) for TMC. Both these seats are in the pivotal South 24 Parganas where five out of 16 seats are in the Sunderbans.

Amid tempest of turmoil and dissent, TMC had made significant changes. Sonali Guha has been replaced by Mohan Chandra Naskar at Santgachhia; actor Debashree Roy was removed to bring in Alok Jaldata at Raidighi and Pannalal Haldar replaced Deepak Haldar in Diamond Harbour, after Haldar defected to BJP.

In Raidighi, the new TMC candidate enters into a duel between veteran CPI-M leader Kanti Ganguly and BJP’s Santanu Bapuli.

Ganguly’s results will bear a reflection on his political career because he had been defeated twice in this constituency.

Once a Left bastion, Hooghly’s political components have undergone a paradigm shift in the last decade with the once dominant red getting increasingly marginalised. One of the Red bastion during the 34- year regime, it began eroding in 2011, and finally was decimated during 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Party ideologue Swapan Dasgupta has resigned from Rajya Sabha to contest in Tarakeshwar constituency. Trinamul too has fielded a fresh face, Ramendra Singha Roy, replacing Rachpal Singh, ex-IPS officer.

At Arambagh, Trinamul’s nominee had spearheaded the campaign of her husband Saumitra Khan at Bishnupur parliamentary segment. But the couple had parted ways and Sujata Mondal Khan will contest as a Trinamul nominee from Arambagh, the Assembly where the reputation of former chief minister Prafulla Chandra Sen is pristine.

TMC candidate Karabi Manna will contest from Haripal after Trinamul leadership decided to relocate her to Singur.

Amra in Howrah remains an island of Congress influence. But defending Amta is no bagatelle for veteran Congress leader Asit Mitra after Trinamul put up Sukanto Paul, a local.

Fielding SK Sabbir Ahmed at Jaggatballavpur, Indian Secular Front leadership is eyeing the seat which has a large proportion of minorities. The ISF’s hopes of success are based on resentment among TMC ranks with candidate Sitanath Ghosh who has replaced sitting legislator Md Abdul Gani.