By Biswamoy Mukherjee Kolkata, May 6 UNI | 3 months ago

Trinamool Congress sitting MP actor Tapas Pal is confident of retaining his Krishnagar seat by enormous margin.

"I am 100 per cent hopeful of a re-win. No party nominees are a factor for me," Pal said. The former Tollywood hero stated that he has initiated and completed developmental work in his constituency, mainly in rural areas.

"100 per cent development is not possible in one tenure. I want to complete the rest after again winning this seat," he said.

Mr Pal said, "Rs 23 crores was spend from my MP fund. Of that Rs 6 crore had been spent on development of Krishnagar town. Rest was spent for rural development to build village roads, school buildings, small bridges." Political observers said this time the seat will witness a major fight. Tapas Pal is contesting against BJP's Satyabrata Mukherjee alias Julubabu, CPI(M)'s Santanu Jha and Congress's Ms Razia Ahmed.

In 2004, Mukherjee won this seat and became Fertilizer minister in the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government. In the last panchayat election in Nadia, the CPI(M) performed better, while the Congress bagged 15 per cent votes in this constituency. Hence political observers said this time the fight will be tough for the actor.

Mr Pal said, "BJP's Satyabrata Mukherjee won this seat in alliance with the TMC earlier. Now he has to contest alone. The BJP has no existence in the state. The CPI(M) also has lost ground in Bengal. There is a Mamata wave. She is the symbol of development. People will vote for me and also for the development done by me in this constituency."

When questioned about the lack of supporters, the Trinamool Congress candidate said, "This is not true. Thousands of supporters were present. I am only a foot soldier of the party. My supremo is Mamata Banerjee. Her popularity will wipe out all other candidates." CPI(M) candidate Santanu Jha, however, accused the former Tollywood actor of not doing any constructive work in the constituency. Development work has been done in Krishnagar town only. There has been no development in the rural areas. "The electorate is wise and will not vote for him," he opined.

The constituency has seven Assembly segments, five of which were bagged by the Trinamool in 2011 and two by the Left parties. But the ruling party fared poorly in the LS constituency in the recent rural polls. Its performance was bad in all the three tiers of the Panchayat system--Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti and the Zilla Parishad (ZP). Though it managed to win the ZP, there was a stiff fight with the Left Front (LF) which won 21 seats against the Trinamool's 26.

Local leaders and activists are worried about the prospect of their star candidate, though the exodus of party supporters to the Trinamool fold from the LF since the rural poll is expected to help the ruling party. Going by all indications, the cinema star seems to be in for a close fight.

(Posted on 07-05-2014)