Campaigning ends for Oct 30 Assembly by-polls in Bengal

PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 27-10-2021 21:27 IST | Created: 27-10-2021 21:27 IST
Campaigning ends for Oct 30 Assembly by-polls in Bengal
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Campaigning for by-polls in four assembly constituencies of West Bengal, held amid Covid restrictions, ended on Wednesday evening. Voting for the four seats — Shantipur in Nadia district, Dinhata in Coochbehar district, Khardah in North 24 Parganas, and Gosaba in South 24 Praganas — will take place on October 30.

The EC did not allow huge rallies during electioneering given the coronavirus situation and the parties depended on door-to-door visits and small gatherings at meetings conforming to COVID-19 guidelines.

The TMC and the BJP are the main contenders in the assembly by-polls in all four seats.

Apart from Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, senior party leaders Sougata Roy, Firhad Hakim campaigned for their party candidates - state agriculture minister Sovandeb Chatterjee (Khardah), Brajakishore Goswami (Shantipur), Subrata Mondal (Gosaba), Udayan Guha (Dinhata)- after Durga Puja.

Banerjee and other Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders highlighted the rise in fuel price, the alleged communal agenda of the saffron party, and the “misuse of central agencies against political opponents by the BJP government'' in their speeches and projected Mamata Banerjee as the only leader capable of dislodging Narendra Modi from power in their meetings which were few in numbers due to the COVID situation. For the BJP, state president of the party Sukanta Majumdar, leader of opposition in the state Assembly Suvendu Adhikari, national vice president Dilip Ghosh and other state-level leaders, including Sayantan Basu, Locket Chatterjee were among the main speakers.

The BJP has fielded Ashok Mandal (Dinhata), Joy Saha (Khardah), Palash Raha (Gosaba) and Niranjan Biswas (Shantipur).

Leaders of the saffron party, particularly Suvendu Adhikari, harped on the attacks on Durga Puja pandals and religious institutions in several parts of Bangladesh and the alleged silence of Trinamool Congress on the issue, which they said, was an attempt to win over the Bengali Hindu electorate.

The BJP also expressed apprehension that the situation of West Bengal will not be favourable for the Bengali Hindus in the coming days accusing the Trinamool Congress of resorting to appeasement politics. This drew a sharp response from the TMC with Abhishek Banerjee accusing the BJP of trying to drive a wedge in society for securing votes.

BJP leader Sukanta Majumder said the TMC tried to prevent the saffron party from undertaking door-to-door campaign in places like Khardah, Dinhata, and Gosaba but ''we still managed to reach out to a cross-section of voters who are disillusioned with the reign of terror unleashed by TMC activists.'' If voters can cast their franchise freely, the results will not be to the liking of the Trinamool Congress, he said.

While the winning TMC candidates had died of COVID-19 after the elections in Khardah and Gosaba, in Dinhata and Shantipur the winning BJP candidates had resigned to retain their seats as MPs.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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