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Bengal LS polls: Mamata’s nephew, Netaji’s kin, actresses contest in final phase

Nine parliamentary constituencies — Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata South and Kolkata North are up for grabs in the final phase

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2019 Election India

Kolkata, May 18 (IANS) A number of high-voltage battles are on the cards in the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal as two popular Bengali actresses set their feet on the political turf for the first time, while a number of hopefuls, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grand-nephew, will be vying to enter Parliament.

Nine parliamentary constituencies — Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Jaynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Jadavpur, Kolkata South and Kolkata North are up for grabs in the final phase of the 2019 general election, where an electorate of around 1.49 crore will decide the fate of 111 candidates in the fray.

The Kolkata North seat has the highest number of candidates (21) contesting among 42 parliamentary constituencies in Bengal, while it also has the lowest number of electorate (14.44 lakh).

The political temperature soared as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, her party’s celebrity candidates Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty, and CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury campaigned for their respective party candidates in the three districts that would go to the hustings on May 12.

Heightened tension and violence centering on BJP chief Shah’s rally in the heart of Kolkata on May 14, prompted the Election Commission to crack the whip and curtail the campaign time by 20 hours, invoking the Constitution’s Article 324 for the first time in history.

Stakes are also high in South 24 Parganas district’s Diamond Harbour seat as Chief Minister Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee is contesting for a second term. He is pitted against CPI-M’s Fuad Halim, BJP’s Nilanjan Roy and Soumya Aich Roy of Congress.

In Jadavpur constituency in Kolkata’s southern suburbs, a triangular battle is on the cards as popular Bengali actress and political greenhorn Mimi Chakraborty faces a tough challenge from CPI-M’s veteran politician and former city mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya and BJP candidate Anupam Hazra, who defected from Trinamool a few months back.

The prestigious Kolkata South and Kolkata North seats, both of which are currently held by the state’s ruling party, will also see a nail biting political battle amid the BJP’s ascendency and high octane campaigns across the city.

In Kolkata North parliamentary seat, which has a sizable number of Hindi speaking voters, the contest is largely between BJP’s National Secretary Rahul Sinha and sitting MP and Saradha chit fund scam accused Sudip Bandyopadhyay. The CPI-M has fielded Kaninika Bose Ghosh while the Congress has nominated Syed Shahid Imam.

In Kolkata South, where a number of star voters including the Chief Minister, former Indian cricket captain Saurav Ganguly and a host of Bengali intellectuals, artists and film stars will exercise their rights, Subhas Chandra Bose’s grand nephew Chandra Kumar Bose is contesting on a BJP ticket while Trinamool has fielded Mala Roy and CPI-M has named Jadavpur University professor Nandini Mukherjee.

The Basirhat Lok Sabha seat, bordering Bangladesh that was hit by communal violence in 2017, has also hogged the limelight since the announcement of the candidate list as another Tollywood actress Nusrat Jahan is fighting against BJP’s Sayantan Basu.

The EC has decided to deploy 710 companies of central paramilitary forces across the nine constituencies in a bid to secure all polling stations for Sunday’s voting.

The votes will be counted on May 23.

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Bengal: Left, Congress leaders hold talks; to finalise candidates by Jan end

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Kolkata, Jan 18: Top leaders of the CPI(M)-led Left Front and the Congress conducted a meeting here on Sunday to discuss the seat-sharing and other election-related strategies, leaders of both the parties said, adding that their candidates would be finalised by the end of this month.

However, both the Congress and Left leaders said that they would hold more such meetings this month to finalise the candidates’ list for the upcoming Assembly elections, expected to be held in April-May.

Both the party leaders would meet again on January 25 and 28 to settle the seat-sharing issue and other poll-related preparedness.

In 2016 West Bengal Assembly polls, the two parties had forged an alliance and won 76 seats in the 294-member Assembly.

Post meeting, Left Front Chairman and CPI-M politburo member Biman Bose said that their discussion with the Congress was cordial and fruitful.

“To defeat the communal force BJP and the fascist TMC (Trinamool Congress), the Congress-Left parties’ alliance is must. The alliance would definitely thrash the binary rule in Bengal,” the veteran Left leader told the media.

Bose said that leaders and workers of Left parties and Congress should fight against the BJP and the TMC with shoulder to shoulder.

Party sources said that the Congress wanted to contest in 130 seats but the Left leaders did not concede the demand.

Bengal Congress chief and the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Chowdhury said that the seat sharing with the Left parties would not be completed in a single meeting, however, the seat sharing process would be concluded within this month.

CPI-M state secretary Suryakanta Mishra, Congress leaders Abdul Mannan and Pradip Bhattacharjee were present at the meeting.The Left and Congress parties are likely to hold a mega joint rally in Kolkata soon to kick start their election campaign.

The all important elections to the 294-member West Bengal assembly are likely to be held in April-May along with Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.In the 2016 West Bengal polls,

Trinamool had retained its majority and won 211 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party won three seats.

However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Left and Congress had fought separately with the Congress won two seats, the Left Front dominated by the CPI-M, which ruled Bengal for 34 years (1977-2011), drew a blank.

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Former minister Shahnawaz Hussain is BJP’s MLC candidate in Bihar

National general secretary Arun Singh said the BJP’s central election committee has approved the names of candidates for the MLC elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

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shahnawaz hussain

New Delhi, Jan 16 : The BJP on Friday announced the names of six candidates for the member of legislative council (MLC) elections for Uttar Pradesh and one in Bihar.

For the only MLC seat in Bihar, the party has given the ticket to former Union minister and present-day spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain.

According to the official list issued by the BJP on Saturday, Kunwar Manvendra Singh, Govind Narayan Shukla, Salil Bishnoi, Ashwini Tyagi, Dr Dharamvir Prajapati and Surendra Chaudhary have received the ticket from Uttar Pradesh.

National general secretary Arun Singh said the BJP’s central election committee has approved the names of candidates for the MLC elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

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West Bengal Will Drown In Ganga If BJP Comes To Power: TMC

West Bengal, Drown In Ganga, BJP, BJP Comes To Power, TMC, Politics, Election,

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Mamata Banerjee

Taking the dig at BJP, the Trinamool Congress on Friday said if the BJP manages to come to power in West Bengal, the state will drown in river Ganga just like all the other projects which were powered under the central government, but were unsuccessful.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy recalled the promises made by the saffron party and said that none of them were fulfilled. He also mocked BJP’s remarks to turn West Bengal into ‘Sonar Bangla’ (golden Bengal) if it emerges triumphant in the assembly elections.

“If this party (BJP) comes to power, then surely Bengal will drown in the Ganga, as all programmes and projects of the Centre have typically flopped, bearing no results,” he alleged.

Attacking the Centre for the demonetisation decision, he said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in 2016 promised that black money will be brought back to the country and that each person will receive Rs 15 lakh in their bank accounts.

“What happened to these promises? GDP growth rate has consistently fallen, unemployment increased and more than 100 people died while standing in queues to withdraw money from ATMs,” he said.

Even Home Minister Amit Shah had said the assurance of depositing Rs 15 lakh into bank accounts of people was a “jumla (rhetoric)”, Roy said.

“Similarly, all promises of the Modi government are jumlas,” he said.

Roy alleged that the law and order condition in BJP- ruled states is “horrible”, as was evident during the recent incidents in Hathras and Balarampur.

The TMC leader also said deposit bases of public sector banks are gradually weakening, while those of the private lenders are “growing incrementally”.

After the BJP-led government came to power in 2014, bad loans have swelled, profitability has gone down and write-offs increased.

“I think there is a need for a probe by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO), as all government and RBI guidelines are being sidelined,” he claimed.

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