The Jorasanko assembly seat is set to get a taste of woman power. The three-sided battle for the ballot would feature Janki Singh of the CPI(M), Smita Bakshi of the Trinamool Congress and Mina Devi Purohit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
While the constituency is largely home to Hindi-speaking people, the character of the seat has been lent a complicated dimension following delimitation. It now comprises 11 municipal wards, including some breakaway wards from Burrabazar, Jorasanko, Jorabagan, Battala and Vidyasagar assembly seats.
While wards 42 and 43 have been inducted from Burrabazar post delimitation, Jorasanko contributes wards 39, 41 and 25 to the mix with another two wards coming from Jorabagan. The newly carved out seat also includes ward 27 from Battala seat and wards 37, 38 and 40 from Vidyasagar seat.
The ripples of delimitation had also been felt in the Trinamool rank and file, with Tarak Banerjee, three-time MLA from Cossipore and party nominee from Entally, refusing to contest the seat over claims that he wanted to be fielded from Jorasanko.
The principal Opposition outfit also had to retract from its earlier call of fielding Shantilal Jain as their nominee from Jorasanko. Though the party cited health grounds for dropping the Jorasanko nominee, sources said the decision could be attributed to the misgivings of the local minority community over Jain's alleged links with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Smita Bakshi, a four-time KMC councillor and wife of Trinamool leader Sanjay Bakshi, replaced Jain.
"We are sure of winning here not only because people of Bengal want a change in governance but also because six of the 11 wards in this constituency belong to Trinamool. We have done enough work to ensure people from other wards too vote for us. I was born and brought up in this locality and people here know me well," said Bakshi.
The CPI(M) too is geared for a tough fight. "I am hoping that my hard work will pay off. I have stressed on door-to-door campaign. I have tried to reach out to each and every person in the area. Though I am contesting the polls for the first time, I have campaigned for many Left leaders and have been associated with the party since the Sixties," said Janki Singh.
The BJP is pinning hopes on Jorasanko. Four-time councillor Mina Devi Purohit hopes to land a favourable verdict.