Kolkata: In 2019 though, it is seeing a pitched battle between two-time MP from Kolkata Uttar Sudip Bandyopadhyay and BJP’s Rahul Sinha.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay earlier won twice from Kolkata North-West. Former MoS Health in the central government, Bandyopadhyay had to serve jail time for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley chit fund case.
While Tapas Paul was dropped by TMC for similar allegation, the party has retained Sudip probably due to the fact that he maintains significant clout in this area. In 2004, contesting as Congress candidate, he got enough votes to ensure TMC’s Subrata Mukherjee loses from Kolkata North-West. However, the fact that he was in jail is being used to hilt by former Bengal BJP state chief Rahul Sinha who lost in 2014 by about 96 thousand votes.
Even though BJP lost, it managed to significantly increase its vote share in 2014. Rahul Sinha is hoping that in this election, he will finally break the jinx and register a win. Politically, Rahul Sinha’s fortunes deepened after the crushing assembly poll defeat in 2016. The likes of Dilip Ghosh and Babul Supriyo are now more influential in Bengal politics than him. So for Rahul, this election is important due to manifold reasons.
CPM has fielded Kaninika Bose Ghosh who is known to be an outspoken leader but has limited reach. Congress has fielded Syed Shahid Imam. Left and Congress might not win but may make TMC’s work difficult by cutting into minority vote share and that of poor people.