KOLKATA: The decision of the Congress and the CPM to go it alone in the West Bengal by-elections in two Lok Sabha and one Vidhan Sabha seats slated for November 19 is likely to split Opposition votes further and lubricate the path for the Trinamool Congress’ victory.
State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Choudhury said, “Though we are worried about splitting of anti-Trinamool votes, but have not yet received any offer of alliance from the CPM.”
The three seats will see a four-cornered fight in Tamluk and Coochbehar Lok Sabha and Manteswar Vidhan Sabha seats with the BJP also testing its strength. The CPM-Congress alliance had failed to deliver results in Assembly elections earlier this year, with the incumbent Trinamool Congress increasing its tally from 184 to 211 in the 294-seat Assembly.
“The TMC has gained strength in north Bengal, even ‘taken over’ Cooch Behar Zilla Parishad, wresting the Forward Bloc stronghold. And Tamluk has been a traditional stronghold of the Adhikari family. It would be a cakewalk for Trinamool in the Lok Sabha seats. Manteswar in politically-restive northern Burdwan may see violence, clashes and tough fight,” a political observer told Express. Tamluk MP Suvendu Adhikari was made Transport minister in Mamata cabinet after he won from Nandigram constituency in this year’s Assembly elections. Coochbehar Trinamool MP 67-year-old Renuka Sinha died of heart attack on August 17.