regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Candidates fielded in 'unique' constituency Raiganj by three prominent parties are all turncoats

Trinamul, BJP and Congress field defectors, voters puzzled

Kousik Sen Raiganj Published 27.03.24, 10:34 AM
(From left) Imran Ali Ramz aka Victor, Kartik Pal and Krishna Kalyani, the Lok Sabha candidates of the Congress, the BJP and Trinamul, respectively, for Raiganj

(From left) Imran Ali Ramz aka Victor, Kartik Pal and Krishna Kalyani, the Lok Sabha candidates of the Congress, the BJP and Trinamul, respectively, for Raiganj

The Raiganj Lok Sabha seat is a “unique” constituency in the political arena of Bengal as the candidates fielded by three prominent political forces of the state are turncoats.

“Many Lok Sabha constituencies have turncoats in the fray. However, Raiganj stands out. Here, whether it is Trinamul, the BJP or the Congress, the candidates fielded by each of these parties are the ones who have walked in from other parties during the past three-four years,” pointed out a political observer.


Trinamul, which has never won the Raiganj Lok Sabha seat, has fielded Krishna Kalyani, the Raiganj MLA who had won on a BJP’s ticket in 2021. He joined Trinamul within a year, without resigning from his post. Kalyani’s defection led to Trinamul appointing him as the chairman of public accounts committee of the Assembly, while claiming that he is an MLA “from the Opposition.”

Imran Ali Ramz aka Victor, who is contesting on a Congress ticket this time, had started his political career as a worker of the All India Forward Bloc like his father and uncle.

He won thrice in Assembly elections as a Forward Bloc candidate from Goalpokhar, but lost to Trinamul in 2021. In 2022, Victor joined the Congress.

Kartik Pal, the BJP candidate, is no different. He was initially with Congress, later defected to Trinamul and finally walked into the saffron camp in 2020.

Swapan Neogi, a Raiganj resident, said that it was tough for voters to choose a candidate this time.

“This is because none of these three candidates has proved his loyalty to the party which has fielded him. All three are in their present political parties only for the past two-three years. If one thinks ethically, no one should be considered as an able candidate. I support one of these three parties but I can’t rely on the candidate as he is a turncoat,” said Neogi.

The candidates, when told that their defection is an important issue in the minds of the voters, said they changed parties “for the sake of the development of Raiganj and the region”.

All three sounded equally confident that people will stand in their support.

In 2019, BJP candidate Debasree Chaudhuri had become the MP. This time, Debasree was given a Kolkata North ticket.

Debasish Biswas, a faculty member at Raiganj University, asserted that turncoats had to strive harder to win peoples’ trust.

“But in Raiganj, the Trinamul candidate is more under pressure as he is still an MLA who won on a BJP ticket. The other two candidates, at least, don’t have this baggage,” said Biswas.


Jayanta Roy, the incumbent MP of Jalpaiguri fielded by the BJP for the second time in the same seat, filed his nomination papers on Tuesday.

In Jalpaiguri, the Lok Sabha election will be held on April 19 and Wednesday is the last date to file nominations.

BJP functionaries in the district were under pressure as the central leadership
was delaying the announcement of the candidate’s name. As Roy’s name was announced on Sunday, the BJP leadership sprung into action. On Tuesday, Roy reached the district magistrate’s office with supporters to file his nomination.

“We have filed the nomination. Tomorrow (Wednesday), we will submit the affidavit and some other papers,” said Roy.

Party leaders said they planned a mega rally on Wednesday as well after two days of Holi celebrations.

At the district magistrate’s office, Roy also came across Nirmal Chandra Roy, Trinamul’s candidate for Jaipaiguri. Both of them exchanged pleasantries and then left the place.

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