Bengal Lok Sabha

1. Arambag, traditionally a Trinamool stronghold, fields newcomer Mitali Bag against BJP and CPM candidates.
2. Bangaon sees a key battle between BJP’s Shantanu Thakur and TMC’s Biswajit Das, focusing on the Matua vote.
3. Hooghly features a high-profile contest between BJP MP Locket Chatterjee and Trinamool’s Rachana Banerjee.

Kolkata, May 20: West Bengal will participate in the 5th phase of the Lok Sabha election 2024 on May 20, with seven crucial constituencies casting their votes: Arambag, Bangaon, Barrackpore, Howrah, Hooghly, Serampore, and Uluberia. This phase promises several intriguing battles, including that of BJP MP Locket Chatterjee.

Arambag: Trinamool’s Stronghold with Fresh Faces

Arambag has been a Trinamool Congress bastion since 2014, represented by Aparupa Poddar. However, this election sees Mitali Bag as the new candidate, marking her first Lok Sabha contest. She faces BJP’s Arup Kanti Digar and CPM’s Biplab Kumar Moitra.

Notably, in the 2019 elections, BJP’s Tapan Kumar Roy narrowly lost by just 1,000 votes, indicating a significant rise in BJP’s vote share in this constituency.

Bangaon: A Key Battle Over Citizenship Amendment Act

BJP’s strategy in Bangaon heavily relies on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Shantanu Thakur, the Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, is the BJP’s candidate, hoping to replicate his 2019 success where he won by a margin of 1 lakh votes against Trinamool’s Mamata Thakur.

This time, TMC has fielded Biswajit Das, a former BJP member who switched sides before the 2021 Assembly election. Bangaon, dominated by the Matua community, sees Shantanu Thakur, a descendant of Matua founder Harichand Thakur, as a significant contender.

Barrackpore: Arjun Singh’s Bid for a Second Term

Barrackpore’s sitting MP, BJP’s Arjun Singh, aims to secure his second term after defeating Trinamool veteran Dinesh Trivedi in 2019. Singh faces competition from Trinamool’s Partha Bhowmick and CPM’s Debdut Ghosh, making it a closely watched race.

Also Read: 65 Bangladeshi Nationals Seek Refuge in Mizoram, Receive Food and Shelter

Howrah: Prasun Banerjee’s Test Amid Rising BJP Support

Trinamool’s Prasun Banerjee, the Howrah MP since a 2013 bypoll, faces a tough battle against BJP’s Rathin Chakraborty and CPM’s Sabyasachi Chatterjee. In 2019, BJP’s vote share in Howrah surged by 25%, though Banerjee managed to retain his seat.

Hooghly: A Glamorous Contest

Hooghly’s election campaign garnered attention with Trinamool’s Rachana Banerjee, a popular actor and TV show host, entering the fray against BJP MP Locket Chatterjee, also a former actor. The CPM’s candidate is Monodip Ghosh. The contest is marked by its celebrity candidates and intense campaigning.

Serampore: A Family Feud on Display

Kalyan Banerjee of Trinamool, the Serampore MP since 2009, faces a unique challenge from BJP’s Kabir Shankar Bose, his former son-in-law. The campaign has been overshadowed by their personal history, with CPM’s Dipsita Dhar also in the race.

Uluberia: Sajda Ahmed’s Bid for Continuity

In Uluberia, Trinamool’s Sajda Ahmed seeks to retain her seat against BJP’s Arun Uday Pal Chaudhary and Congress’s Azahar Mollick. Known as a Trinamool stronghold, this constituency will test Ahmed’s continued popularity.

As these seven constituencies gear up for voting on May 20, each battle presents its own set of dynamics and key players.

From seasoned politicians and incumbent MPs to fresh faces and celebrity candidates, the outcomes in these seats will significantly influence the broader results of the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal.