Over a dozen rallies in 2 days: Mamata looks to upset Left Front applecart in north Bengal | india | Hindustan Times
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Over a dozen rallies in 2 days: Mamata looks to upset Left Front applecart in north Bengal

india Updated: Apr 13, 2011 15:38 IST
Pramod Giri

If attracting crowds is any indicator of electoral fortunes, Mamata Banerjee can rest assured that she has already upset the Left Front applecart in north Bengal.

The region, from the hills of Darjeeling to the plains of Malda, will go to the polls on April 18, kicking off the crucial battle for Bengal.

On Tuesday, the Trinamool chief addressed no fewer than five meetings stretching from Kumargram to Kalchini, from Dhupguri and Moinaguri to Falakata. And, in the past two days, Mamata has addressed no fewer than a dozen election rallies.

North Bengal has always been the Trinamool's weak link and the Left Front bastion. In the outgoing assembly, out of the 54 seats in the region, the Congress and Trinamool jointly hold 11 seats, while the Left has a formidable strength of 40 (three seats are held by the GNLF).

This time, however, the circumstances are not as rosy for the Left.

A Mamata wave is sweeping the state, the tea belt voters are upset with the Marxists and Bimal Gurung's Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has made inroads into the Left votebank in the Dooars area.

No wonder then that both the Trinamool and the Congress have jumped headlong into North Bengal. All alliance heavyweights are parked in the area and central leaders Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul will soon be making their debut in the area.

Malda and Dinajpur won over, Mamata landed on Tuesday deep inside the Left's territory.

"I've announced many rail projects for the region. I'll do more if you help me to come to power," she told cheering crowds at a rally near Jalpaiguri.

More rallies have been planned over the next few days.

Mamata will address voters in distant Coochbehar and Siliguri before returning to her base in Kolkata for the Bengali New Year.