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Bastion of Indian politics' firebrand 'didi', Calcutta South has elected her four times in a row.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2004 15:24 IST

An impregnable bastion of Indian politics' firebrand 'didi', Calcutta South has sent her to Parliament for four times in a row. And not many doubt that it would be the fifth time in a row although Congress has put up noted socialite Nafisa Ali against her.

The constituency swears by antics, efficacy and ideas of 'didi' Mamata Banerjee and her party Trinamool Congress. And the observers say that the only interest here is the margin of her victory this time, in view of her "make & break" relationships with NDA in recent years. All believe that Nafisa is no match for a seasoned politician like Mamata.

She defeated Subhankar Chakraborty of CPM by 20,5,992 votes polling 58.26% of votes in an otherwise 10-cornered contest.

In 1998, she drubbed Prasanta Sur of CPM by 224081 votes in a 10-cornered contest while in 1996 she had drubbed CPM's Bharati Mukherjee by 10,3,261 votes. An interesting aspect of 1996 poll was the preponderance of woman candidates in the fray: 8 out of 13. She was elected on a Congress ticket in 1991.

Barring a couple of times when it voted the Congress, the seat has remained with the Left. But not since Mamata emerged as a symbol of protest against the Left Front.

Banerjee is contesting Lok Sabha election for 7th time, starting in 1984, when she defeated CPI-M stalwart Somnath Chatterjee in Jadavpur constituency. But she lost Jadavpur seat to Malini Bhattacharya of CPI-M in 1989 which forced her to shift to Calcutta South in 1991. And since then, the seat has remained with her.

First Published: Mar 26, 2004 18:03 IST