Assembly Election Results 2017

WB polls: Strong wind of change threatens to unseat industry minister

A strong wind of change threatens to unseat two-time CPI-M MLA and Industry Minister Nirupam Sen contesting from Burdwan South constituency, considered an impregnable Marxist fort.

Updated: Apr 28, 2011, 13:23 PM IST

Burdwan (WB): A strong wind of change
threatens to unseat two-time CPI-M MLA and Industry Minister
Nirupam Sen contesting from Burdwan South constituency,
considered an impregnable Marxist fort.

People in this semi-urban constituency in Burdwan
district, known as the rice bowl of West Bengal, largely
believe that Sen is the brain behind the state government`s
policy of `hasty acquisition of fertile farmland` for setting
up industry.
This coupled with some farmers` suicides resulting from
successive crop failures have made his position shaky, proved
by results of past elections, including panchayat and
municipal, following the 2006 Assembly election in which Sen
had won by a margin of 35,242 votes.

In fact, the CPI-M started to lose its grip on the
district, where polling will be conducted in two phases - May
three and May seven, right after the 2006 elections.

In the municipal election that followed the Assembly
election, the party lost the long-held municipalities like
Memary, Guskara, Kalna and Dhainhat.

In the Burdwan South segment in the 2009 Lok Sabha
election, CPI-M candidate Sahidul Haq trailed Trinamool`s
candidate Nargis Begum by 99 votes, indicating things to come.
Political observers say that a major chunk of the
2,15,484-strong electorate in this constituency is
disillusioned with Sen for several reasons, the chief among
them being lack of development in the region, large-scale
nepotism and above all farmers` suicides.

To capitalise on the mood for a change, Trinamool Congress
candidate Rabiranjan Chattopadhyay met voters personally and
held meetings in places more or less encompassing all parts of
the constituency.

"Sen has failed to touch the hearts of voters and failed
to explain the suicide by seven farmers in the space of nine
months and lack of progress," some people in the constituency
said.

On the other hand, Trinamool candidate Chattopadhyay,
an ex-head of the Bengali department of the Burdwan
University, is riding on a wave of anti-incumbency and peole`s
large-scale resentment against CPI-M hand in the killings of
Congress workers at Mangolkote.

Saying he got spontaneous reponse from the people, Sen
during his election campaigns explaind that he could not visit
them frequently as he was tied down by the responsibility of
his ministry.

Refuting the Opposition charge, he said it is a lie that
his party did not do any development work in the district and
cited the proposed Aerotropolis project as proof.
He also said that work would soon begin to move the
congested Teenkonya bus stand outside the bustling Burdwan
city.

CPI-M district committee secretary Amal Haldar claimed
that the people, who had deserted them, had started coming
back to the party fold.

"The voters are also angry at violence let loose by the
Trinamool Congress recently including bomb attacks in the
premises of the Burdwan University to protest over so-called
discrepancies in the appointment of Group D staff," Haldar
said.

PTI