In last but one, LF calls the shots | india | Hindustan Times
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In last but one, LF calls the shots

Of 57 constituencies, as many as 42 are under the LF's control, reports Aloke Banerjee and Arindam Sarkar.

india Updated: May 03, 2006 12:02 IST

The fourth round of polls in the five-phase election in three districts of Bengal on Wednesday will decide the fate of 288 contestants, including those of industries minister Nirupam Sen, power minister Mrinal Banerjee and animal husbandry minister Anisur Rahaman.

Of the 57 constituencies, in Murshidabad, Burdwan and Birbhum, as many as 42 are under the control of the Left Front, while eight belong to the Congress, two to the Congress-backed Independents and five to the Trinamool Congress.

Elections have already been held in 187 constituencies in the first three rounds. Of the 26 seats in Burdwan, 21 are Left bastions while the Trinamool controls four and the Congress one.

State law minister Nisith Adhikari, however, is not contesting from Durgapur North this time. Adhikari has been replaced by Pradip Tah of the CPI(M).

Of the 12 seats in Birbhum, 10 are under the control of the Left Front, while the Trinamool Congress and the Congress have one each. Animal husbandry minister Anisur Rahaman, contesting from Domkol, in Murshidabad is considered the prize catch of the CPI-M.

A low key leader with a solid mass base, Rahman says there is a lot to do in his department and he enjoyed heading it. If he wins, he won't mind doing the same job again.

"I am going to win. The Congress despite its hooliganism cannot stop me. In 1991, my victory margin stood at 24,000 votes. In 1996, it was around 16,000 and in 2001, it stood at 13,000 votes. I have always polled more than 50 per cent votes and this time too, it will be an encore," says the confident minister.

But all eyes are on Kandi in Murshidabad district where Congress leader Atish Sinha is facing a rebel from his own party, who owes alle giance to Congress MP Adhir Choudhury. In Berhampore, Congress veteran Mayarani Pal, too, faces a rebel and an Adhir loyalist.

Murshidabad, which became a Congress citadel post 2004 Lok Sabha polls, has witnessed bitter rivalry between the Adhir and Atish camps. The Left, too, faces a divided house.