The Trinamul Congress supremo, Ms Mamata Banerjee’s move to not contest Assembly polls is proving costly for the Marxists in Bengal. While the face of the Marxists, West Bengal chief minister Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, is virtually caged in his Jadavpur Assembly constituency, struggling to save his own berth, Ms Banerjee is all over the state touring and campaigning.
Mr Bhattacharjee is up against the former state chief secretary, Manish Gupta, who is apparently giving the Marxist icon a sleepless night. Also in Kolkata the Left Front was routed in the recent municipal polls.
It was learnt that for over a fortnight, the chief minister has not been able to step out of Kolkata. “At this juncture, the chief minister losing his seat, could well be the last nail in our coffin,” a CPI(M) Central Committee member said. The surveys in Bengal are predicting between 180-190 seats to Trinamul-Congress combination in the house of 294.
Sources said that the Left Front, particularly the CPI(M) is getting somewhat desperate, as its internal survey has predicted a dismal picture for the outfit. The party is also getting hit as its main vote catcher and chief ministerial candidate Mr Bhattacharjee, is not able to move out of Kolkata and campaign like his opponent Ms Banerjee. The Trinamul supremo for whom its “now or never” is criss-crossing the state with a fury. The chief minister, meanwhile, is virtually clamped in his own constituency as the “lightweight” Manish Gupta is slowly emerging as a “major challenge,” a CPI(M) functionary said. Incidentally, Mr Gupta is a former colleague of the chief minister.
He retired as chief secretary under Mr Bhattacharjee. However, he is not the only cause of concern for the chief minister. Mr Bhattacharjee is also up against former CPI(M) South 24-Paraganas district secretary, Samir Putatunda, who is a Party for Democratic Socialism candidate. What is worrying both the party and the CM is the recent results from Jadavpur. During the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the CPI(M) candidate could only register a slender lead from Jadavpur Assembly segment. Asian Age