Cong eyes Mamata bastion | india | Hindustan Times
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Cong eyes Mamata bastion

Congress is now gearing up to storm what has long been considered Mamata Banerjee's bastion ? South Kolkata, reports Arindam Sarkar.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2006 16:11 IST

After snubbing all overtures from Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for a mahajot (grand alliance), the Congress is now gearing up to storm what has long been considered her bastion — South Kolkata.

Three of Mamata's former lieutenants — ex-mayor Subrata Mukherjee, once trusted aide Sudip Bandopadhyay and legislator Paras Datta — are now with the Congress.

At the heart of the strategy are three constituencies, Kabitirtha, Chowringhee and Rashbehari, crucial segments of Mamata's Lok Sabha seat, South Kolkata.

Kabitirtha and Chowringhee should pose few problems for the Congress. While the former belongs to long-time Congress MLA Ram Pyari Ram, the latter is the constituency of the veteran Subrata Mukherjee.

That Mamata nominated a weak candidate, Subrata Bakshi, to the seat has fired hopes of a Congress walkover. In Rashbehari, two-time Trinamool MLA Shobhandeb Chattopadhyay will face a challenge from Congress councilor Mala Roy.

Initially, the South Kolkata District Committee party had considered pitting Subrata in the seat. Of the six civic wards in this segment, the Congress has three wards in its clutches. And as Mala Roy is a sitting councilor, her chances are considered better.