Just a day before the final list of the TMC candidates from 291 assembly constituencies for the West Bengal Assembly Elections was announced, Mamata Banerjee revealed that she might contest from the Tollygunge seat in addition to the Nandigram seat from which she is contesting against Suvendu Adhikari. “I too can contest from this seat,” said Mamata Banerjee during a campaign meeting in Tollygunge.
However, as of now, the party has trusted minister Aroop Biswas for the seat. Mamata Banerjee has fielded a large number of people ranging from sports as well as the Bengali film industry in order to convince the people of West Bengal to vote for TMC because all the top leaders of the party, who were well-known faces, have switched to BJP.
“Today, we are releasing a list of 291 candidates which includes 50 women, 42 Muslim candidates. On 3 seats of north Bengal, we not putting up our candidates. I will contest from Nandigram,” said Mamata Banerjee.
“From Bhowanipore constituency, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay will be contesting in the upcoming assembly elections,” she added.
After Suvendu Adhikari jumped ship and switched to being the most formidable contender from the most trusted ally, Mamata Banerjee decided to challenge him from the Nandigram seat, the bastion of the Adhikari family. However, that was a decision taken in the heat of the moment, and by now Mamata Banerjee must have realised that it could become a career-ending mistake for her.
Mamata Banerjee knows the perils of contesting from Nandigram alone as there is every chance that she might lose handsomely on Suvendu Adhikari’s home turf which will be a major loss of face for her and a potential career-ending loss. Therefore, she has kept her options open, and Aroop Biswas could be dropped at any moment before the filing of the nominations to pave the way for Mamata Banerjee.
Just like Rahul Gandhi decided to contest from Wayanad when he felt that the home-turf, Amethi, could be taken over by Smriti Irani, Mamata Banerjee might decide to contest from Tollygunge to save her political career.
She has already announced that Sovandeb Chattopadhyay shall contest from Bhowanipore, her constituency for ten years. “I will contest from Nandigram, my party colleague Sovandeb Chattopadhyay will be fighting from Bhawanipore seat. We have given assembly poll tickets to eminent personalities from the field of arts, sports, media and culture,” she said while announcing the list of the candidates.
Mamata Banerjee knows that the chances of Suvendu Adhikari being defeated from the Nandigram constituency is near zero because it is his home turf and he enjoys enormous influence not only in the region but in the neighbouring districts too.
Nandigram and Singur were the two hotspots where the TMC built its foundation to come to power in 2011. Mamata’s blood-stained protests against Tata’s Nano factory brought her into the limelight and eventually power, but not many know that it was Suvendu Adhikari who was the force behind the Nandigram movement.
Since then he went from strength to strength and has a proven track record of winning be it the Assembly or the Lok Sabha elections. Over the years, he has extended his clout beyond his home district of Purba Medinipur to Jangalmahal — Bankura, Purulia, and Paschim Medinipur districts.
So, Mamata Banerjee could announce her candidature from the Tollygunge seat very soon in order to save her political career – just like what Rahul Gandhi did by contesting from Wayanad.