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It’s advantage BJP in Asansol 

BJP candidate Babul Supriyo campaigning in Asansol.

As he had breakfast at a roadside restaurant at the industrial area of Raniganj in the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency a senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and one of the most prominent Muslim faces in the area seemed skeptical about his party’s prospects. Although he was confident that voters from the minority community will firmly back TMC but argued that this advantage will be overshadowed by several factors which will give BJP an edge in Asansol. The Asansol constituency will go to polls April 29.

“ Rest assured that the Muslim voters ( about 15% of the total voters in Asansol) will vote for TMC. But it is a Hindu majority seat and the Hindi speaking Hindu voters(about 30% of the voters in the seat) will go with BJP,” the TMC leader told DH under the condition of anonymity. 

This became evident when this correspondent asked a resident of a minority dominant area in Raniganj whether the BJP candidate and Union Minister Babul Supriyo came to his locality for campaigning. “ Babul knows it is futile to come here,” he shot back.

He further revealed that several factors have put TMC on the back foot in Asansol. First, there is severe disagreement within TMC regarding the party leadership’s decision to field yesteryear’s film star Moon Moon Sen. 

According to TMC sources party MLA and Mayor of Asansol Jiten  Tewari was keen to contest from the constituency. However, TMC Minister and one of the most influential leader in Asansol Moloy Ghatak wanted that a celebrity candidate be fielded from the constituency.

Tewari over the last couple of years has been persistently working to gain the support of Hindi speaking voters with measures such as constructing a Surya Mandir in the area. 

“ Tweari’s effort paid off and a section of the Hindi speaking voters started supporting TMC. However, with Sen being a candidate here they will most likely support BJP,” TMC sources said. 

 Sources said that all the ruling party MLAs including Tewari just want to ensure that Sen gets a lead in their individual Assembly segments and have withdrawn themselves from the areas of other TMC MLAs. 

“ The lack of coordinated effort may cost TMC dearly,” party sources said. One has to keep in mind that in the last Lok Sabha election TMC candidate Dola Sen lost to Supriyo because of internal discontent over candidature and this time also the party is struggling to avoid the same situation. 

Local activists said that the RSS has gained a significant foothold in Asansol and pushed the Hindutva agenda with considerable success creating favourable situation for BJP.

Asansol LS Constituency 

State: West Bengal 

2014 Winner: Babul Supriyo (BJP)

Runner Up:Dola Sen (TMC)

Margin: 70,480 votes

2019 candidates:

Babul Supriyo (BJP)

Moon Moon Sen (TMC) 

Gouranga Chatterjee(CPI-M)

Biswarup Mondal (Congress)

Poll date: April 29

Total voters: 1614917

 

 

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