West Bengal Polls: Mamata to contest from Nandigram; Left-Cong-ISF seal alliance

TMC's Mamata Banerjee
TMC's Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday released the list of Trinamool Congress candidates for the upcoming assembly polls for 291 seats with emphasis on youths, minority, women and backward communities.

Three candidates of the Bimal Gurung faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), an ally of the TMC, will be contesting from the remaining three seats in Darjeeling.

"This time we have stressed on more youths and women candidates. Around 23-24 sitting MLAS have been dropped and there are names of about 50 women, 42 muslims, 79 SC and 17 ST candidates in the list," Banerjee said.

Exuding confidence of returning to power for the third consecutive time, Banerjee termed it as the "easiest" election the TMC has ever faced.

"After we come to power we will create Vidhan Parishad to accomodate senior and experienced leaders. We could not accommodate everybody especially those above the age of 80 years," she said.

"I will be contesting from Nandigram, my party colleague Sovandeb Chattopadhyay will be contesting from Bhawanipore seat," she said.

Banerjee also challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to deploy as much central force as it wants but the TMC will still emerge victorious.

Left-Cong-ISF alliance announces seats

Kolkata: The alliance of the Left Front, Congress and the newly formed Indian Secular Front (ISF) on Friday announced the names of constituencies from where each party will contest for the first two phases of the assembly election in West Bengal.

The Left Front also announced the candidates for the seats allotted to it.

However, the Congress and the ISF will come out with the names of their contestants later, their leaders said.

LF chairman Biman Bose said that consensus on some seats is yet to be arrived at by the alliance partners.

Nandigram, from where Trinamool Congress supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will contest, is one such seat.

Assembly elections in the state will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.

TMC likely to get 156 seats in Bengal, BJP 100 out of 294 seats

It is a straight war between Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the BJP in West Bengal, which voted left parties to power, for many decades since independence.

Though, it seems the TMC has a clear edge in this political fight, BJP is not far behind and likely to make a huge dent in the political equation of the state.

According to an IANS CVoter survey, the TMC is likely to emerge as a clear winner with 156 seats, which is barely over the half-way mark, and a decrease in 55 seats from its 2016 tally in the 294 seat Assembly. The survey projects, the BJP will notch up its tally from single-digit 3 seats in the 2016 election to a triple-digit 100 in the 2021 election. The Left Front-Congress combine is projected to be at the third spot with just 35 seats.

Interestingly, the survey projects there isn't a gulf of difference in votes percentage of the TMC and BJP, where the former is likely to get 42.8 per cent and the latter not far behind with 38 per cent. The swing vote percentage favours the BJP, which has jumped from 10.2 per cent in 2016 polls to 38 per cent in 2021 polls, on the contrary, the TMC may get 2.1 per cent fewer votes per cent. The Left Front-Congress combine is projected to get 12.9 per cent votes, a major of 25 per cent from its 2016 tally, and it seems the beneficiary is the BJP.

According to the projected range of seats, the TMC is projected to get seats in the range 148-164 seats, followed by the BJP with 92-108 seats and the Left Front-Congress may get 31-39 seats and the remaining 1-5 seats may go to the independent candidates.

The survey also observed a significant gap between the numbers of actual voting intention and the perception of winnability in West Bengal. While the BJP is leading the war of perception and winnability, it is the TMC that is still leading the likely voters equation. The perception gap for the BJP is 4.6 and for the TMC it is -8.8. According to the survey, 42.6 per cent perceive the BJP is likely to win the West Bengal election, while 34 per cent perceive, the TMC will win.

(With inputs from PTI, IANS)

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