Bhawanipore: Mamata Banerjee’s constituency is Trinamool’s citadel
When West Bengal goes for the fifth phase of polling on April 30, all eyes would be on Bhawanipore assembly constituency. For Trinamool Congress head and chief minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting from this constituency.West Bengal 2016 Updated: Apr 20, 2016 14:15 IST
When West Bengal goes for the fifth phase of polling on April 30, all eyes would be on Bhawanipore assembly constituency. For Trinamool Congress head and chief minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting from this constituency.
But ‘Didi’ - as Banerjee is popularly known as - is not the only high-profile candidate from this constituency with 2,02,655 voters.
While the Congress has fielded Deepa Dasmunsi – wife of veteran Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi – who is popularly referred to as ‘Boudi (sister-in-law), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has pitted Chandra Bose, a grandnephew of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who was a resident of Elgin Road that falls within this constituency.
However, Banerjee is not campaigning in her own constituency much. Her nearest competitor Dasmunshi is canvassing more actively with full support from Left leaders and workers.
Bhawanipore lies in the heart of south Kolkata and is known as a Congress stronghold. It later became a citadel of the Trinamool Congress as Banerjee’s house in Kalighat is located in this constituency. Such is the Trinamool’s stronghold in this constituency that Bose did not find a house even on a temporary basis to set up an election office.
In 2011, Banerjee won a bypoll from this constituency after one of her trusted lieutenants, Subrata Bakshi, vacated the seat for her. She won by a margin of 54,213 votes.
The situation changed in 2014 during the Lok Sabha polls.
Though Bhawanipore was a Trinamool stronghold, the BJP had been making strides in the area. The BJP candidate from Kolkata South Parliamentary constituency Tathagata Roy came second. Interestingly, he had a lead of 185 votes in Bhawanipore assembly segment. Roy is presently the governor of Tripura.
In the 2015 Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls, Trinamool lost two — wards 70 and 77 — of the eight wards in Bhawanipore. While ward 70 was won by the BJP, ward 77 went to Forward Bloc.
The constituency has a sizeable population of Sikhs and Gujaratis. However, it is dominated by middle-class Bengalis.