Updated March 16th, 2024 at 17:27 IST

Lok Sabha Polls: 12 Seats to Watch Out For in the State of West Bengal

With West Bengal going to polls in seven phases between April 19 and June 1, here are seven parliamentary seats to watch out for in the state.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. | Image:ani
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Kolkata: The political battleground of West Bengal looks all set for yet another high-octane face-off. Elections will be held in seven phases between April 19 and June 1. The following are the 12 key parliamentary seats of the state to watch out for.

  1. Kolkata Dakshin: Considered a prestige seat for the TMC for the legacy that party supremo Mamata Banerjee holds, the cosmopolitan seat of South Kolkata continues to remain a Trinamool bastion with all seven Assembly seats in the party kitty. Banerjee remained an unbroken six-term MP from this seat from 1991 to 2011, till she snatched state power from the Left Front. Previous attempts by the BJP to dent Banerjee's popularity in the region came to naught even after the TMC chief quit contesting the parliamentary polls. While TMC has repeated candidate Mala Roy, the sitting MP from the seat, the BJP is yet to name her challenger.
  2. Kolkata Uttar: Sudip Bandyopadhyay, TMC's parliamentary party leader in the Lok Sabha, is the sitting MP of this urban constituency of North Kolkata and has been re-nominated by the party. Bandyopadhyay won the previous polls by over 1.27 lakh votes, defeating his closest BJP rival. The BJP is yet to announce its contestant from the seat. Bandyopadhyay's candidature, though, was mired in controversy with a section of TMC leaders like Tapas Roy (who has now defected to the BJP) and Kunal Ghosh voicing their opposition to him.
  3. Diamond Harbour: TMC's national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee is a two-term MP from the Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha segment and is a repeat candidate from the seat this time. In 2019 he won the seat by a margin of over three lakh votes, bagging over 56 per cent vote share. Besides the BJP, the candidates of the Left-Congress alliance and the Indian Secular Front are also likely to remain in the poll fray.
  4. Dum Dum: A predominantly industrial belt in the northern fringes of Kolkata, Dum Dum is yet another TMC fortress it has dominated for the past 15 years. TMC has fielded sitting MP and veteran leader Saugata Roy from Dum Dum for his fourth consecutive term. In 2019, Roy defeated Samik Bhattacharya of BJP by over 53,000 votes. The seat was home to many industries.
  5. Jadavpur: The Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency has a mix of urban and rural population with parts of it located in the southern suburbs of Kolkata and the rest in the rural belts of adjacent South 24 Parganas district. The TMC won the seat in 2019 by nearly three lakh votes over its BJP rival and currently holds six of the seven assembly segments. Bhangar, which was won by the opposition party ISF, is likely to receive considerable attention since it remained one of the hotspots of violence during the 2023 panchayat polls.
  6. Bongaon: A Scheduled Caste-reserved seat, the Bongaon constituency has consistently hogged media headlines for its demography which has a dominant population of Matuas, a migrant Bengali-speaking Namasudra Hindu sect who suffered religious persecution in neighbouring Bangladesh, and the impact of the implementation of the CAA in the region. The Act has remained a long-standing demand of a significant section of Matuas. Union minister Shantanu Thakur, a prominent Matua leader, is a sitting MP from Bongaon which he won in 2019 by a margin of over one lakh votes. He will be up against TMC's Biswajit Das, a former BJP leader.
  7. Krishnangar: Expelled TMC MP Mahua Moitra won the Krishnanagar seat, yet another region comprising a significant population of Matuas, in 2019 by more than 63,000 votes garnering 45 per cent of the total votes polled. Moitra, considered to be among the most vocal of TMC parliamentarians, was expelled last year in cash for a query case following a Lok Sabha ethics committee recommendation to that effect.
  8. Jhargram: This ST-reserved central Bengal constituency forms a significant part of the tribal belt of the state and encapsulates the state's forest-covered territory, loosely called Jangalmahal.Once a bastion of the erstwhile Left Front government, the Red Brigade was dislodged by the Trinamool Congress in 2014 in the aftermath of violent Maoist activities in the area from 2008 to 2011. That triumph of TMC proved to be short-lived after the BJP snatched the seat away in 2019. While the TMC hopes for a reversal of fortunes this time around by fielding Santhali playwright Kalipada Soren, a Padmashri and Sahitya Academy awardee, BJP is yet to name its candidate after sitting MP Kunar Hembram quit the party earlier this month citing "personal reasons".
  9. Balurghat: President of BJP's Bengal unit and sitting MP Sukanta Majumdar is contesting from this North Bengal seat for the second time in a row. Majumdar would take on TMC's Biplab Mitra, a minister in Mamata Banerjee's cabinet in Bengal.
  10. Bankura: BJP's Subhas Sarkar, a junior Union minister, is seeking reelection from Bankura, while the TMC has fielded Arup Chakraborty, its MLA from Taldangra, one of the assembly segments within this Lok Sabha seat. A three-cornered fight is in the offing with the CPI(M) putting up Nilanjan Dasgupta from the seat. The constituency has a considerable tribal population and parts of it fall under Jangalmahal, the erstwhile Maoist stronghold.
  11. Medinipur: The Medinipur constituency used to be a CPI bastion till 2014 and was wrested by BJP's Dilip Ghosh in 2019 from the TMC, which had won the seat for the first time in 2014. The TMC has fielded actor-turned-politician June Maliah, its MLA from the Medinipur segment, for the constituency. The party managed to regain a lot of ground in the 2021 assembly polls, having won in six of the seven segments in this constituency.
  12. Baharampur: The Baharampur Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district of central Bengal is known to be the stronghold of Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who won the seat on five previous occasions on the trot. 
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Published March 16th, 2024 at 17:27 IST