It's advantage Mamata in West Bengal

Last Updated 25 March 2019, 13:42 IST

The electoral battle in the Lok Sabha elections across the country may be between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi or it may be viewed a contest between the BJP and the Congress, but in West Bengal the scenario will be a different one.

The politically significant state will most likely witness a 'Mamata Banerjee versus the rest' fight and there are several reasons to say so:

The firebrand chief minister and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo has so far manged to outwit her rivals both in terms of candidate selection and political moves.

Currently, Mamata’s adversaries are on rather shaky grounds.

While the BJP is struggling to quell internal discontent over candidate selection, the CPM-led Left Front and the Congress are busy blaming each other for the collapse of their seat sharing discussions.

The BJP, which has set a target of winning 22 seats in the state, is struggling to find suitable candidates from its own rank and file.

It has opted to give tickets to leaders of other parties, who have defected to the saffron party— this has led to an open agitation by party workers against the party's state leadership.

The situation has come to such an extent that recently BJP’s district president in Cooch Behar, Malati Rava, was surrounded by party workers just because the party leadership has given ticket to a TMC leader, who recently joined the party.

The BJP lags behind the TMC in terms of campaigning due to delay in candidate declaration.

Their organisational weakness has made it even more difficult for party workers.

The CPM-led Left Front is still hesitant over whether to field candidates on all 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal or leave the Baharampur and Malda Dakshin ( South) seats, which were won by the Congress in 2014, to the grand old party.

The CPM’s peculiar stand of being in favor of an seat sharing agreement with the Congress but refusing to give it a status of a full fledged alliance has also spoiled the talks between the two sides.

The Congress, on the other hand, is scrambling to find candidates for all the Lok Sabha seats in Bengal as the party was banking on an alliance with the Left Front.

Unlike her rivals, Mamata has declared her full candidate list within days after the election dates were announced.

Going solo in the Lok Sabha elections, her party also does not have to bother about alliance partners and seat sharing issues.

The TMC is considerably ahead in terms of campaigning than other parties in the state.

The TMC supremo has successfully projected herself as key opposition to the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the national level.

Whether it is her United India rally or dharna against CBI, Mamata Banerjee has always been one step ahead of her rivals.

(Published 25 March 2019, 13:39 IST)

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