West Bengal: Jobs, corruption, water crisis remain key concerns as Murshidabad gears up to vote in Phase 3

Known for its silk weaving industry Murshidabad is going to polls in the upcoming third phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 7 along with three other Parliamentary constituencies Jangipur, Malda Uttar and Malda Dakshin in West Bengal.

ANI | Updated: 06-05-2024 15:17 IST | Created: 06-05-2024 15:17 IST
West Bengal: Jobs, corruption, water crisis remain key concerns as Murshidabad gears up to vote in Phase 3
Candidates from Murshidabad and Jangipur Lok Sabha contituency. (Photo/ANI). Image Credit: ANI
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Known for its silk weaving industry Murshidabad is heading into polls in the upcoming third phase of the Lok Sabha elections tomorrow along with three other Parliamentary constituencies in the State- Jangipur, Malda Uttar and Malda Dakshin. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the All India Trinamool Congress had won Jangipur and Murshidabad out of the four constituencies.

Violence during polls and deaths have been reported in the Murshidabad district in all panchayat polls since 2003. According to locals, key issues of concern are jobs and corruption at the local level. Locals allege that people from Bangladesh enter here illegally and cast their votes. Illegal sand mining and cow smuggling to Bangladesh are other concerns of the voters.

The brand "Murshidabad silk" is not only famous across India, but also has a great demand throughout the world. The constituency is also famed for its brass and bell metalware. It was a prosperous city and capital of Bengal till the British defeated Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula in the battle of Plassey in 1757. The district has one of the largest international boundaries with Bangladesh compared to other districts of the state.

Murshidabad district comprises three Lok Sabha constituencies - Murshidabad, Berhampur and Jangipur - and a part of the Dakshin Malda constituency. Murshidabad seat will witness a triangular contest between Abu Taher Khan of Trinamool Congress, Gouri Sankar Ghosh of the Bharatiya Janata Party and MD Salim of CPI (M).

Abu Taher Khan, the incumbent MP is looking to retain his seat. Taking to 'X' TMC shared, "With 25 years of selfless service, Abu Taher Khan our MP candidate from Murshidabad Lok Sabha constituency has been a beacon of hope, uplifting countless lives and fostering holistic growth."

Gouri Sankar Ghosh of the BJP was elected as a member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly from the Murshidabad constituency in May 2021. BJP has been claiming that a lot of development work has been carried out in Murshidabad by Gouri Sankar. Sankar has appealed the centre to give Murshidabad status of Union territory alleging that the State government is planning a conspiracy to erase the historical importance of Murshidabad. "The residents of this district don't want the name "Murshidabad" to be eradicated," he urged in a letter to the President's secretariat.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has alleged that BSF has been inflicting pain on people in the border areas of Murshidabad. TMC has also alleged that if CAA is implemented, Muslims will be thrown out of the country. CM Mamata Banerjee has vowed that she would not let the CAA, the NRC or the Uniform Civil Code be implemented in the state.

Addressing the public meeting in Murshidabad, recently, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said, "I would like to request all the migrant workers who have come here to celebrate Eid please don't go back without voting because if you don't vote in the coming days they will take away your Aadhar card and your citizenship. I will not let CAA be implemented here." "I have not let NRC be implemented here. It was implemented in Assam and so many people died. Now they are also talking about UCC. All of you will lose your identity if they bring in UCC. I am betting for my life that I will not let NRC or CAA take place. I won't also let UCC be implemented here," she added.

She also attacked the BJP alleging that some Ram Navami processions were carried out with people brandishing weapons. Water crisis is also a major concern in this constituency. Locals allege that the state government is not able to implement all the water project schemes of the centre.

TMC has alleged that the Central government has withheld the money of the people for their 100 days of employment under the MGNREGA scheme. CPI(M) candidate MD Salim, a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and a former Youth Affairs and Minority Development Minister has emphasised the importance of voting for the Left's secular, democratic and people-centric policies.

In Murshidabad, Congress is also campaigning for CPI(M) candidate MD Salim as the part of INDIA bloc. CPI (M), which had ruled the State continuously for 34 years, drew a blank in the last Lok Sabha elections. Salim is confident of winning the seat as he feels that an anti-incumbency sentiment against the ruling Trinamool Congress due to unemployment and lack of development will work in his favour. Meanwhile, in the Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency, Khalilur Rahaman of the TMC is contesting against Dhananjay Ghosh of the BJP and Murtoja Hossain Bokul of the Congress.

TMC MP Khalilur Rahaman was a part of a delegation that came from West Bengal to protest against the centre demanding the release of MGNREGA funds under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee last year. Rahaman said, "We have come here to protest against the central government they are stopping the development of West Bengal. Under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee, we will participate in this protest till our demands are met including MGNREGA funds."

All seven assembly segments of the Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency are in the Murshidabad district. Taking to X TMC posted on X, "From his unwavering commitment to serving the people to his exemplary performance in the Parliament, Khalilur Rahaman has consistently been the voice of his people."

Union Minister Nisith Pramanik campaigned for Dhananjay Ghosh for Lok Sabha Election 2024 in Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency. Though the TMC is still part of the INDIA bloc, it did not go into a seat-sharing alliance with its partners in the Opposition alliance--Congress and the Left.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the TMC won 34 seats in the state while the BJP had to settle for just 2. The CPI(M) won two seats, while the Congress bagged 4. In the 2019 general elections, the TMC dropped to 22 seats while the BJP saw the lotus bloom in 18 seats. The Congress brought up the rear, winning just 2 seats.

Polling for six Lok Sabha seats in Bengal was held across the first two phases on April 19 and 26. Polling for the remaining parliamentary seats will be held on May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25, and June 1. (ANI)

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

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