Three-cornered race in Kolkata UttarMay 12th, 2009 | By Elections2009 | Category: Key constituencies
Muslim vote, development may decide the outcome here
Kolkata Uttar is set for a three-cornered contest, with Md. Salim of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Sudip Bandopadhyay of the Trinamool Congress and Tathagata Roy of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the fray in this very heterogeneous constituency.
The constituency has gained prominence post delimitation with two erstwhile constituencies — Kolkata North West and Kolkata North East — merging to form Kolkata Uttar.
The constituency has seven Assembly segments — Chowringhee, Entally, Beleghata, Jorasanko, Shyampukur, Maniktala and Kashipur-Belgachhia. A total of 13 candidates, including seven Independents, are contesting the election.
Click here for PDF
The CPI(M)’s Mr. Salim is banking on his clean image, excellent public relation skills and goodwill generated over the last five years as the sitting MP of the erstwhile Kolkata NE constituency to woo voters; Mr. Bandopadhyay, who had been a two-time MP from the erstwhile Kolkata NW constituency, is banking on the alliance between the Trinamool Congress and the Congress and both parties’ revived organisational strength to see him through.
Mr. Bandopadhyay’s reputation as a frequent “party-changer” might hurt his prospects to a certain degree though. He quit the Trinamool and fought as a Congress-backed Independent candidate from the Kolkata NW constituency in 2004 when the party denied him a ticket. Mr. Bandopadhyay rejoined the Trinamool Congress a few months back, much to the annoyance of the State Congress leadership.
Mr. Salim is highlighting the need for a change at the Centre in the form of a Third Front Government, while Mr. Bandopadhyay is also campaigning for change focusing on the drinking water and sewage problems in the constituency.
The presence of a sizeable business community here, however, could tilt the scales in favour of the BJP candidate to some extent.
The minority vote factor can also prove to be the key: following the Sachar Committee Report findings and the famous Rizwanur Rahman murder case, the Muslim community is reportedly upset with the CPI(M).