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Campaign ends for Apr 26 second phase election to three key North Bengal LS seats


Curtain was rung on Wednesday on the high-pitch electioneering for the second phase Lok Sabha election to three key seats of Darjeeling, Raiganj and Balurghat

in West Bengal’s northern districts on April 26 with the political parties sparing no pains to woo the electorate.

Though the contest on paper looks multi-cornered one, the real fight revolves between the main Opposition BJP and ruling

Trinamool Congress as the former has all three sitting MPs.

In Darjeeling young Raju Bista once again is trying his political fortune for the saffron brigade, while Gopal Lama and Manisha Tamang are trying their luck for the Trinamool Congress and Congress respectively.

Bista has some thorns on his path since BJP rebel Bishnu Prasad Sharma is contesting as an Independent, but the BJP leadership

was not bothered at all since the voters in the Hills never supported such partyless contestants.

For Balurghat sitting MP and Bharatiya Janata Party state chief

Sukanta Majumdar is contesting for his second successive term

from South Dinajpur where state minister Biplab Mitra is seen in

action on behalf of the ruling party.

The Left Front has fielded Jaydeb Siddhanta from the RSP (Revolutionary Socialist Party).

Raiganj, which borders Bihar on one side and Bangladesh on the other, is poised for a triangular contest among Trinamool’s Krishna Kalyani, the BJP’s Kartick Pal and Congress nominee Ali Imran Ramz.

Kalyani won the Raiganj Assembly seat on a BJP ticket in 2021 but

later shifted to the Trinamool.

The BJP this time replaced sitting MP and former union minister Debasree Chaudhuri with Kartik Pal, a new face as the saffron had some factional issues.

Debasree Chaudhuri this time is contesting from Kolkata Dakshin as the

BJP nominee.

Ramz was earlier elected to the Assembly from Chakulia on an All India

Forward Bloc ticket.

Darjeeling, also known as the Queen of Hills, has been on focus for

its geographical location as well as the home to multi-ethnic


of Gorkha, Lepcha, Bhutia and other Mongoloid origins, and the

Terai, Dooars and plains home to Adivasi, Rajbangshi as well as the Bengali,

majority of whom has been voting for the saffron brigade since 2009.

Since the mid-eighties politics in the Hills has been centered around

the separate Gorkhaland. The Hills are now a quasi autonomy with GTA (Gorkhaland Territorial Administration), and the demand for the state was at a

dormant stage for now.

Senior union ministers, TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee, her nephew

and party GS Abhishek Banerjee, and BJP’s star campaigners like


Mithun Chakraborty, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar, Suvendu

Adhikari among others held rallies to woo the voters.

Union Home minister Amit Shah, whose helicopter failed to land at

Gokha Maidan on Sunday, however, had communicated a message with

assurances to fulfill

some of the demands, including incorporation of some ethnic

communities in a list of special categories, besides mitigating the

difficulties of the tea gardens workers

once PM Narendra Modi returned to power for the 3rd successive term with votes

from the Hills people.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh also held meeting at Siliguri in favour of Bista.

Mamta Banerjee whilst listing her government achievements for the past

13 years assured more developments for the people living in north


The Election Commission is expected to deploy additional central

forces in the 2nd phase of polling with 299 companies, 30 more than

those on ground in the first phase.

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