TMC-BJP heavyweights to square off in pitched Balurghat battle

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Sukanta Majumdar Biplab Mitra

Sukanta Majumdar (Left); Biplab Mitra (Right)

Balurghat: A keen and closely fought electoral contest awaits the Balurghat Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal’s Dakshin Dinajpur district, where BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar will lock horns with TMC veteran and state minister Biplab Mitra.


Majumdar, who made his electoral debut in 2019, had secured 5,39,317 votes, establishing a lead of 33,293 votes and wresting the seat from TMC’s Arpita Ghosh.

This time the BJP MP is pitted against Trinamool Congress’ Biplab Mitra, who is the state’s consumer affairs minister, having won from the Harirampur assembly seat in 2021 on a TMC ticket, after his brief tryst with the saffron party in 2019.

Balurghat in northern West Bengal will vote in the second phase on April 26.


"It will be a clean sweep for the BJP this year, banking on Narendra Modi's development and good governance plank in contrast with the corruption charges against the TMC and the atrocities committed on women in Sandeshkhali. People of Balurghat, like the rest of West Bengal, will decisively vote for Modiji," Majumdar asserted.

The BJP state president, who was a professor, exuded confidence that he will win by a margin of over one lakh votes on the back of his initiatives to bring Balurghat and adjoining areas of north Bengal on the railway map, with the introduction of the Sealdah-Balurghat Express and other trains.

"Previously, none had thought about bringing Balurghat on the railway map and boosting its connectivity. This was made possible by Modiji and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. Dakshin Dinajpur had been neglected, being a district in the interiors," he said.


While six assembly segments in the constituency are in Dakshin Dinajpur, another is in Uttar Dinajpur. Four segments are represented by the TMC and three by the BJP.

Majumdar also claimed that people are now aware of the fake publicity of the TMC regarding beneficiaries receiving funds under the Awas Yojana, and the assurance of free 5-kg rice and wheat distribution.

Countering Majumdar, Mitra, a lawyer by profession, said at least 50 development projects have been undertaken across the state by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also the TMC supremo, and “that will reflect in the elections”.


"Unlike BJP leaders like Majumdar, we stay with the common people throughout the year... People of West Bengal are reaping benefits of the development work initiated by the TMC government since 2011," he said.

Mitra also alleged that the Centre withheld dues to Bengal under the MGNREGA, and the chief minister is “managing funds from the state's resources so that the poor are not deprived”.

"All the false propaganda of the BJP will be spurned by our electorate," he asserted.


Mitra was greeted by thousands of jubilant supporters during a recent visit to the Gangarampur rail station in Dakshin Dinajpur.

"None of it was pre-planned. People assembled in thousands as I got down from the train, and took me out of the station in a procession,” he said, hinting at the wide acceptance of him as a candidate for Balurghat.

Majumdar was also seen interacting with voters at various places in the constituency in the last few days.


Asked if he was apprehensive about any infighting in the BJP as claimed by the TMC during campaigning, Majumdar said, "We don't have any internal squabble in the area." He said the opposition INDIA bloc was also of little significance and posed no challenge to the saffron party.

Balurghat was earlier a stronghold of Left Front constituent RSP, which won the seat consecutively from 1984 till 2009.

The Balurghat seat, with an electorate of 12,54,497, is known for high voter turnout during polls. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Balurghat had recorded 83.61 per cent turnout.