Kolkata, April 23: The fourth of the Assembly election in West Bengal scheduled on Monday (April 25) will decide the fate of tainted Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Madan Mitra.
Mitra, the former transport minister who is currently in jail over his alleged involvement in the Saradha chit-fund scam. He has also been one of the TMC leaders accused in the more recently Narada sting operation. [List of 49 seats going to polls on April 25]
Despite the charges against Mitra, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee has shown faith in him and fielded him from the same Kamarhati constituency from where he had won by over 24,000 votes in 2011. Banerjee was also seen campaigning for Mitra while the latter thanked his party supremo for believing in him. [Is the long-duration election hurting Mamata Banerjee?]
Mitra's Left opponent Manas Mukherjee, who Mitra had defeated in 2011, however, is trying to encash on this issue. He has highlighted the charges against Mitra and the fact that he is in jail for too long now. [What if Mamata Banerjee loses this election?]
The third contestant in the fray---Krishanu Mitra of the BJP---is also using the same weapon against Mitra. [Why Mamata is likely to score a pyrrhic vistory]
In the absence of Mitra, his family members are carrying out the campaign with other party activists. But it is not going to be easy for the TMC to repeat the 2011 feat by projecting a tainted candidate in an ambience where the general discontent over issues like the Narada sting operation and syndicate is ever-growing.
Moreover, the Congress has an electoral understanding with the Left this time and that is expected to help Mukherjee's case by means of mobilising the Congress's votes in his favour. Mukherjee had won this seat in 2001 and 2006.