For Anupam Deb Sarkar, the CPI(M) candidate from Behala West, the task is especially tough. The tsunami of change had virtually washed out the party from this constituency both in 2009 Lok Sabha and 2010 civic body polls, a reversal of which is not expected by even the most ardent CPI(M) optimist.
To make things tougher, Sarkar's opponent is Trinamool Congress heavyweight and leader of Opposition in the assembly Partha Chatterjee, who is contesting with the confidence of getting elected for a third consecutive term from this constituency.
Simple statistics is enough to prove Chatterjee's advantageous position. He was first elected from Behala West in 2001 with a whopping margin of 19,477 votes, which came down to just 5,727 votes in 2006. However, in 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Behala West gave a lead of 35,386 votes to the Trinamool candidate from Kolkata South, Mamata Banerjee, over CPI(M)'s Rabin Deb. The situation worsened further for Left Front in 2010 municipal elections, with Trinamool capturing all the 10 wards in the constituency. After that there has not been a single signal that speaks of even the slightest improvement in the scene for the Left Front.
So, for Sarkar, a professor of civil engineering in Jadavpur University, the only point of argument is that Trinamool-controlled Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has not made any progress in improving the life of people of the constituency. "What they claim are all gimmicks and in reality nothing has been done," he said.
For Chatterjee, the equation is simple. "I stay with the people of my constituency all year. My relationship with them is extremely cordial. People understand it quite well that we work for Maa Mati Manush. I have full faith in the people of my constituency," he said.
The two plus points in Sarkar's favour are his age and clean image. The CPI(M) has based it campaign on issues such as the Trinamool's role in the exit of the Nano project from Singur.