New Delhi/Siliguri, April 12 : The Congress has decided to intensify its campaign in the next four phases of elections in West Bengal, which the party thinks are its strongholds as they have considerable minority presence.The districts going to polls in next phases include Murshidabad, Malda, North Dinajpur and other parts of north Bengal, where Congress registered good vote share in the last assembly elections.
Murshidabad and Malda are the party strongholds due to family influence of late Rail Minister Abdul Ghani Khan Choudhury, however, the family has now been divided between the TMC and the Congress.
Congress observer in the state B.K.Hariprasad, speaking from Bagdogra, West Bengal, said, “our focus in the area is to get our votes back to the party fold and the last four phases are crucial for the party.”
The Congress leadership has now pitched in the state to attract the voters in the high octane battle between the BJP and the Trinamool.Congress Secretary Incharge of West Bengal, B.P.Singh speaking from Siliguri, said, “our alliance with the Left and the ISF (Indian Secular Front) is strong and Rahul Gandhiji will campaign for the party on Wednesday at Goalpokhra and Naxalbari”.
Wary of the division of votes between TMC and the Left-Congress alliance, the party is tactically placing itself in the contest, so that it remains in the fight and the party leaders maintain that the Congress-Left alliance is doing well in the rural areas.
However, the Congress-Left alliance could not match the BJP’s high voltage campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the party was more focused in the assembly elections of Assam and Kerala with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra campaigning in the states.
While the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are in direct contest in Bengal, the Left is trying to win back its rural support, and the Congress is trying to retain its last tally of 44, in 2016 elections.The Congress’ vote share had declined to 4 per cent in the 2019 general elections, but it still remains an important factor in some districts such as Purulia, Malda and Murshidabad.
Sources also said that the Congress leaders refrain from sharing the dias with the Left till elections in Kerala got over as Rahul Gandhi has been attacking them in the southern state where the two are in direct fight against each other.