Tough battle for Left in Murshidabad

LF is facing an uphill task of recovering lost ground in its erstwhile stronghold of Murshidabad from Cong.

india Updated: May 01, 2006 09:58 IST

Battlelines have been drawn for the fourth phase of the assembly elections in West Bengal on May 3 with the Left Front facing a tough challenge in trying to recover lost ground in its erstwhile stronghold of Murshidabad district from Congress.

In the fourth phase, polling would be held in 57 seats — 19 in Murshidabad where the Congress swept all the three Lok Sabha seats in 2004, 26 in Burdwan district and 12 others in Birbhum district.

Though it looks like an uphill task for the Left Front to prevent the Congress from repeating its Lok Sabha poll performance, it's taking its was chances. It is eyeing the advantage of the divisions in the Congress in Murshidabad district. Of the 19 assembly seats in the district, 11 are with the Left and the Congress has eight.

The Congress has to contend with the power tussle between its MLA at Kandi Atish Sinha and the district president, MP and Berhampore strongman Adhir Chowdhury.

But the Left Front is not free from divisions in its ranks with some RSP workers opposing the candidature of Murshidabad party district secretary Biswanath Banerjee in the Barwan seat.

Sonia Gandhi, who campaignedin defence minister Pranab Mukherjee's Jangipur constituency on April 28, urged people to vote for the Congress, saying it would be in the best interest of the state if the Congress ruled from the Centre and from Kolkata.

The Left Front is also worried over the unofficial mahajot (grand alliance of the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the BJP) in some seats in Birbhum and Burdwan districts.

First Published: May 01, 2006 09:58 IST