All eyes will be on Singur and Nandigram, as 63 constituencies in four districts would go to the polls in the fourth phase of Bengal’s Assembly elections on Tuesday.
Also in the fray from Burdwan South is state commerce and industries minister Nirupam Sen, considered the architect of the Singur experiment and the second most important member of the sixth and seventh Left Front cabinets.
Among the constituencies are pockets of Hooghly and Burdwan that were considered impregnable fortress of the Left till the anti-incumbency wave gathered momentum in West Bengal under the leadership of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.
However, all attention will be on Nandigram in East Midnapore that became the cradle of the parivartan wave unleashed by Banerjee.
“I am just waiting to see how big my winning margin turns out to be. It will be more than the 40,000-vote margin by which I won last time. Nandigram is waiting for Mamata Banerjee to come to power,” said Firoza Bibi, Trinamool candidate and defending MLA in the constituency. Bibi’s son was among the 14 persons who were killed by police bullets in Nandigram on March 14, 2007.
Ashok Guria, East Midnapore district committee member of CPI(M) said, “We were not allowed to enter Nandigram, leave alone campaign. It is our moral victory if the margin of votes do not increase.”
Singur in Hooghly district also goes to polls on Tuesday. About 35 km to the north of Kolkata, the place made global headlines in 2006 and 2008 – first for snatching the Nano car plant from the jaws of competition and then for losing it in the face of political opposition by Banerjee.
The four districts that go to the polls are Hooghly (18 seats), Howrah (16), East Midnapore (16) and Burdwan (13 out of 25). Trinamool is supposed to sweep East Midnapore out of these four. Trinamool leaders have already claimed that they have notched up the seats to reach the magic figure of 148. (Out of the total 294-seat Assembly).
Even in Howrah, Trinamool Congress candidates are expected to have a lead in most constituencies.
However, in Hooghly and Burdwan there will be tough fight in most constituencies and CPM will be fighting to protect their red fort.