Constituency watch: Paltry margin in LS polls concern for Trinamool in Maniktala bypoll

Kolkata:  Maniktala Assembly constituency, one of the seven under the Kolkata-Uttar Lok Sabha constituency, is heading for an interesting three-cornered bypoll next month.

The main concern for the ruling Trinamool Congress in retaining Maniktala is the falling victory margin in this constituency as per the Assembly-wise results in the recent Lok Sabha polls.

Maniktala is going for bypolls following the demise of the three-time Trinamool Congress legislator from there, Sadhan Pande.

Trinamool Congress wants to win this seat banking on the popularity of the deceased legislator and hence has fielded his widow Supti Pande in the bypolls scheduled on July 10.

The BJP has re-nominated Kalyan Chaubey, the party candidate who got defeated by Pande in 2021.

The third candidate in the fray is the leading face in the CPI(M)’s theoretical front Rajib Majumdar.

According to poll statistics, Trinamool Congress’ popularity in Maniktala has taken a hit substantially in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections.

In 2021, Pande got elected from that constituency by a margin of 20,238 votes. However, in the Lok Sabha polls, the Trinamool Congress’ winning margin from Maniktala came down to just 3,575 votes.

After the Lok Sabha polls, the Trinamool Congress leadership reviewed the causes behind its waning popularity among urban voters.

In the case of Kolkata-Uttar Lok Sabha, which includes Maniktala Assembly, it was factionalism that led to the party’s popularity taking a hit.

Now it remains to be seen whether in the run up to the bypoll the party can maintain a united front and ensure the victory of Sadhan Pande’s widow on the seat.

At Maniktala, the percentage of Muslim voters is a paltry 2.4 per cent and of SC/ST voters it is a little less than 5 per cent.

A sizable portion of the voters in the constituency are non-Bengali speaking ones.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to depute 12 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) at Maniktala on polling day. The counting will be held on July 13.


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