Congress bastions in Bengal tested in polls today

Is this the Congress's Phase to Loose in Bengal
Congress's Phase to Loose?
Is this the Congress's Phase to Loose in Bengal
Congress’s Phase to Loose?

The second phase of polling has started in Bengal. This is a phase where the Congress is expected to have a strong showing. In total 6 seats are voting in North Bengal. The TMC doesn’t have much to lose from this phase as it is not a major player in any of these constituencies. Still the fact that Supreme Court didn’t pass any order regarding CBI enquiry into the Saradha scam must have come as a relief to the party just a day before polling.

EC cautious
After the Election Commission faced a rather raucous run in with ruling party TMC before the first phase of polling, things have settled down to an extent. Mamata Banerjee though believes that EC is acting on the behest of Congress party. Yesterday she alleged that Ahmed Patel, one of the trusted aides of Sonia Gandhi has prepared a list of officials who needs to be shifted from their post. EC though remains unfazed in face of criticism.
The six seats where voting is going on currently are Raiganj, Balurghat, North Maldah, South Maldah, Jangipur and Murshidabad. 25 special observers have been nominated to ensure smooth polling. In total 822 booths have been set up with video streaming facilities which are being monitored by EC officials from Kolkata. 152 companies of CRPF jawans have been roped in to guard over 3000 sensitive booths. Rest are having state police in duty.
Most of the seats are witnessing four cornered contest. So margins are likely to be extremely narrow. Let’s evaluate the expectation of the parties from this 2nd phase of polling.

Trinamool Congress
It is not much of a force in this region. It’s only realistic chances are in Balurghat and North Maldah. In couple of seats, didi wants to ensure that the Congress candidate doesn’t win. TMC hopes to win 2 seats here with second place in couple of other seats. Realistically they will be stretched to win a single seat in this phase.

Left Front
This is the phase for Left to add to their tally. It won only Balurghat last time. This time they are in contention in all the 6 seats thanks to three-way split in anti-Left votes. The party hopes to win around 4-5 seats and is confident to win in 3 seats.

This is Congress’s phase to lose. They won 5 last time but with the support of TMC. How deeply Congress organisation is really entrenched in districts like Maldah, Murshidabad and North Dinajpore will be tested. The party hopes that the massive anti -incumbency it faces in the centre wouldn’t affect its chances here. The party hopes to ride on the personal charisma of leaders like Adhir Ranjan Choudhary, Deepa Dasmunshi and Mausam Noor.
The party hopes to repeat its performance from last time. Realistically though it concedes that 4 cornered fight may wean away couple of seats from their kitty. How effectively state Congress chief Adhir can rally his “troops” in the Election will be an important factor.

BJP is perhaps one of the crucial X factors in this round of election. They are not expected to pick up any seat but can upset the equations of other political parties. The seats are all in border areas. Ground reports suggest some consolidation of votes along religious lines. BJP is likely to gain from that with the added incentive of Modi wave. The party hopes to have a strong showing with Assembly elections two years down the line.
The most likely result is 3 seats each to Congress and CPIM. Congress is ahead in Murshidabad, North Maldah and South Maldah. Left seems to be in pole position in the other seats.

Related Information:

Malda Uttar Election Result
Maldaha Dakshin Election Result
Murshidabad Election Result
West Bengal Election Results
Election Result 2014