New Delhi, Mar. 4 (ANI): The Election Commission of India is likely to announce the dates for elections to 294-assembly seats representing 20 districts of West Bengal this afternoon as the tenure of the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC regime comes to an end in May.
With the announcement of the dates, the Model Code of Conduct will automatically come into force in the state till the election results are declared.
The state is bracing for an action-packed assembly election as all political parties are going full throttle to lure the electorates, while Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee faces a tough task of confronting incumbency factor in view of her stormy and eventful tenure.
Her key opposition, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), is offering pre-poll partnership to like-minded parties to corner Mamata to take revenge for its shameful defeat in 2011.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is, on the other hand, working hard to make inroads into Bengal, with its party brass busy doing permutation and combination to set the course right. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s delivering on his promise of declassification of files concerning Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has been seen by many as an attempt by the BJP to reach out to electorates in the state.
The Congress Party seems to be equally determined to gain its lost ground. With Mamata greeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi on her birthday, political pundits saw her move as the Trinamool Congress’ attempt to cosy up the Congress for a pre-poll alliance. The TMC had a tough tenure with opposition parties leaving no opportunity to attack the government over Saradha scam, rising crime and violence in the state.
To say the least, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury faces a herculean task to restore the party’s lost glory. The tectonic shift in the electorates’ verdict that made Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to bite the dust will still be lingering on his mind.
Chief Election Commissioner Dr. Nasim Zaidi has declared that paramilitary forces would be deployed in the state at the time of voting in order to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections.
Winning the elections will be a daunting task for all parties even as some opinion polls giving an edge to the TMC over others, whereas some others are predicting the BJP as the surprise winner. However, a Congress-CPI (M) alliance has potential to send all speculations to the trash. (ANI)