Biswanath Choudhury faces tough battle
Balurghat, May 5 : The scourge of yearly floods, poor communication and growing unemployment may be the deciding factors for state Jail Minister Biswanath Choudhury representing Balurghat assembly constituency for almost three decades.
The veteran Revolutionary Socialist Party leader is facing an uphill task this time as these problems along with dearth of industry and some vital local issues have been haunting the ruling Left Front.
The constituency goes to poll in the fifth and final phase on May 8. Mr Choudhury's rival this time is Trinamool Congress supported BJP candidate Debasree Choudhury.
In 2001 the minister won by a narrow margin of 2752 votes over his nearest rival Shankar Chakraborty of AITC, supported by the Congress.
This time the voters have been polarised because of many local issues.
The constituency, a prestigious seat as it is the headquarters of south Dinajpur, has about 1,40,228, electorate. 66,833 of them are women and are expected to be the clinchers.
Balurghat faces flood almost every year due to unplanned drainage system. An industrially backward district, unemployment is another major issue in the elections. The district has no air link, although it had an airport which was in operation for a few years in the post independence era.
Only last year, Balurghat figured in the railway map, that too upto Malda.
There is no Poly-technic College or government B. Ed. College.
Neither is there any modern health service in the district. The alternative road from Balurghat to Malda has not been upgraded.
But a divided opposition may not be able to cash in on this as the Congress has fielded Tapan Kanti Deb.