Nandigram: The two high-profile rivals in Nandigram — Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari – have been in the last few days busy touring the constituency to keep a close watch on the polling process. The high-decibel electioneering in Nandigram culminated with a high voter turnout on Thursday.
Both the leaders were in media glare throughout the day.
The first half of the day was of Suvendu Adhikari. He toured different parts of the constituency, including keeping a vigil on the polling process. However, as the polling day came to an end with a high voter turnout of over 80 percent, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hogged the limelight.
The Trinamool Congress chief was monitoring the proceedings of polling from her temporary residence in Reyapara. Around 1 pm, as she got information of alleged booth capture and rigging by BJP from her party leaders, she went to visit the troubled areas. In Boyal, she was stuck in a polling booth for more than two hours following a hostile face-off between BJP and TMC supporters. She was later rescued by the security forces. She even had a chat with the governor of West Bengal about the situation.
The epicentre of political campaigning in West Bengal saw a peaceful voting on Thursday, during the second phase of polling. Suvendu Adhikari, during the day, had predicted around 75 percent polling in Nandigram. He said, “If this happens, it should be noted that people also want change.”
In the previous elections, Nandigram had rarely witnessed more than 60% polling. So, will Suvendu’s predictions bear fruit as Nandigram saw a high voter turnout? Will BJP win from here?
Political experts have said both Suvendu and Mamata are heavyweight candidates and no one can be taken lightly. There is an intense political fight in Nandigram. If Suvendu wins, his victory can be attributed to the polarisation factor. But Mamata Banerjee enjoys a huge support on the ground among the women and youth. If Mamata wins from the seat it will be because of the women, youth and minority voters.
In the political slugfest of Nandigram, an IPS officer Nagendra Tripathi, in-charge of Nandigram, can claim the title of the man of the match. As Mamata Banerjee alleged about the inaction of the security forces, regarding the incident at the polling booth in Boyal, despite several complaints since morning the IPS officer responded that there would be no blemish on his uniform while carrying out election duty.