Lok Sabha election 2019: A look at West Bengal constituencies: COOCH BEHAR
Kolkata, March 11: The schedule for the 17th Lok Sabha election was announced by the Election Commission on Sunday, March 10. The election will be held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19 with the results to be declared on May 23. Of all the states in the country, West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh will witness elections in seven phases.
Here we take a look at all the Lok Sabha constituencies (42) of Bengal and how parties have fared there over the years.
Constituency: COOCH BEHAR (reserved for Scheduled Castes)
Date of election: April 11 (Phase 1)
Since 2009, the Cooch Behar constituency comprises seven segments and they are: Mathabhanga (SC), Cooch Behar Uttar, Cooch Behar Dakshin, Sitalkuchi (SC), Sitai (SC), Dinhata and Natabari. It is located in the district of Cooch Behar in the extreme north-eastern part of West Bengal.
What happened in 2014:
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election in which the ruling Trinamool Congress swept the state, Cooch Behar also went to it. Renuka Sinha won the election from this seat (5,26,499 votes), defeating her nearest rival Dipak Kumar Roy (4,39,392 votes) of Forward Bloc - a constituent of the Left Front which dominated this seat for a long time - by 87,107 votes.
The BJP finished third in the table with its candidate Hem Chandra Barman polling 2,17,653 votes. The Congress finished fourth with 74,540 votes and NOTA got 11,409 votes.
In the 2014 election, the district of Cooch Behar had 16,55,472 valid voters out of whom 39.86 per cent voted for the TMC, 33.62 per cent for the Left Front, 16.57 for the BJP and 5.41 for the Congress. Others polled 4.54 per cent votes.
2016 by-election: TMC wins again; BJP finishes second
Renuka Sinha died of heart attack in August 2016 necessitating a by-election in this constituency and the TMC won it again with its candidate Partha Pratim Roy 3.13 lakh votes. However, this time, the BJP was in the second position although the difference had increased while the Forward Bloc was relegated to the third position with less than 88,000 votes.
History of Cooch Behar constituency results: A fortress of Forward Bloc once
This constituency was a fortress of the Forward Bloc for decades. Since the first election held in Cooch Behar in 1957, the Forward Bloc won 12 times (1962-67, 1977-2009) while the Congress won twice (1957 and 1971). Late leader Amar Roy Pradhan had won from this constituency a record eight times between 1977 and 1999.