In Battle for Barrackpore, 2-Time Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi May Struggle Against Former Party Aide Arjun Singh
The Barrackpore seat has a sizable number of Hindi-speaking voters (nearly 37%) who came from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and Singh, who recently joined the BJP, claims to have nurtured this constituency for long.
File photos of BJP leader Arjun Singh and TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi.
Barrackpore: Calling his opponent and former Trinamool MLA Arjun Singh, a non-factor, ruling party MP Dinesh Trivedi said he was confident of comfortably retaining his Barrackpore Lok Seat.
Busy campaigning ahead of the fifth phase election in the seven Lok Sabha seats, including Barrackpore, in Bengal on May 6, the former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi told News18, “We are winning all the 42 seats. This time, people will vote for Mamata Banerjee for taking Bengal on a developmental path. No one can beat her when it comes to economic growth in the state. In Barrackpore, people will vote for Didi’s vision for transforming the state.”
When asked if Singh (the Trinamool’s Bhatpara MLA who recently joined the BJP and is in fray as the party candidate from Barrackpore) would pose a big challenge for him, Trivedi said, “I don’t want to react to nonsense things. This is a non-issue in my seat.”
Regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that 40 TMC MLAs were in touch with him, Trivedi said, “Modi stooping very low and this is unbecoming of a Prime Minister. Instead of talking of development, he is talking about (poaching of) TMC MLAs. He is my Prime Minister too and my head hang in shame when I hear such comments from him. All he is doing nowadays is dividing the country and its people and nothing else.”
Singh said, “He (Trivedi) has lost his connect with the local people here. Do you think a person, who cleans his palms with a sanitiser after shaking hands with the public would be able to understand their problems/pains?”
The Barrackpore parliamentary seat has a sizable number of Hindi-speaking voters (nearly 37%) who came from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and Singh, earlier considered a Trinamool strongman, claims to have nurtured this constituency for long.
He was the key TMC functionary in-charge of Trivedi’s election from this seat in 2014.
Trinamool sources said Singh shared a very good relation with all the MLAs of Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituents (Amdanga, Bijpur, Naihati, Bhatpara, Jagatdal, Noapara and Barrackpore).
On the other hand, Trivedi, who had to resign as Union railway minister in 2012 after his proposed passenger fare hike angered his party supremo, is seeking a third term.
In 2009, he had Tarit Topdar, a six-time CPI (M) MP by 56,024 votes. Since 1951, the CPI(M) had won the Barrackpore seat nine times.
This time, besides Trivedi and Singh, the other contenders in fray are the CPI(M)’s Gargi Chatterjee and Congress candidate Md Alam.
Since long, the seat is known to be have a strong Trinamool base. The ruling party has all the 24 panchayat samiti and three zilla parishad seats with it.
All the eight municipalities of Barrackpore, North Barrackpore, Bhatpara, Titagarh, Halisahar, Garulia, Naihati and Kanchrapara are also governed by the Banerjee-led party.
However, the rift within the party following Singh’s exit may have an adverse effect on Trivedi’s chances.
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