Don’t vote Congress or CPM, says Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee in Chopra
Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked people not to vote the Congress or the CPM, making the appeal in Chopra, an Assembly segment in the plains that falls under the Darjeeling parliamentary constituency.
Addressing a rally, Mamata urged residents of the North Dinajpur pocket to vote Trinamul and propel the party to its first Darjeeling seat victory.
“We need a lead from Chopra to win the Darjeeling seat. People here should not vote the Congress or the CPM as it will not serve the purpose…. it is Trinamul that will form the government at the Centre and for that, we need to win all 42 seats in our state,” the Trinamul chief said.
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In 2014, Chopra was the only Assembly segment where Trinamul had a lead. Its candidate Bhaichung Bhutia got more votes in Chopra than S.S. Ahluwalia of the BJP, who won by two lakh votes on the strength of leads in other segments.
Later on Wednesday, Mamata headed to Darjeeling where she campaigned for Amar Singh Rai, the Trinamul candidate.
Political analysts said a “sudden change in the political scene” of the hills posed fresh challenges for Trinamul, forcing to it focus on pockets in the plains.
Mamata has tied up with the Binay Tamang faction of the Gorkha Jamukti Morcha. Later, though, the BJP won the support of the Bimal Gurung faction of the Morcha, besides getting the GNLF and the CPRM on board.
“The allies, who have support in the hills, have bolstered the confidence of the BJP about its performance and its candidate (Raju Bista) started campaigning through the region. This worried Trinamul as it feared the BJP might reclaim lost ground in the hills. That is why the party is trying to secure leads in Assembly segments in the plains, including Chopra,” said an analyst.
In Darjeeling, Mamata pitched Rai, a former Darjeeling MLA, as a “son of the soil” and contrasted him with outgoing MP Ahluwalia. “You had voted Ahluwalia but have you ever seen your MP? BJP leaders come here from Delhi ahead of elections and leave after winning. That is why we have fielded a bhoomiputra (son of the soil) who is based in Darjeeling and will be here to work for you.”
Some felt the focus on Darjeeling stood out. “It seems Mamata will hold meetings in five of the seven Assembly segments under the Darjeeling seat. In neighbouring districts, she had held two to three meetings,” an observer said.
 
https://www.telegraphindia.com
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Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked people not to vote the Congress or the CPM, making the appeal in Chopra, an Assembly segment in the plains that falls under the Darjeeling parliamentary constituency.

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