Yusuf Pathan ready to hit a six at Adhir Ranjan's home pitch!

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | March 23, 2024 IST

Yusuf Pathan vs Ahir Choudhury

Kolkata, March 23: A key contest is on the anvil in the Baharampur Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal's Murshidabad district, where five-time sitting Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Choudhury is facing both hurdles and advantages in retaining his home seat.

The main disadvantage is the surprise candidate field by the Trinamool Congress -- former India cricketer Yusuf Pathan, the elder brother of another popular former national team player, Irfan Pathan.

A talk is doing the rounds in the political circles of the state that the main aim of the Trinamool leadership (read Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) in Baharampur is to defeat Choudhury, rather than ensure the victory of the party candidate.

A section of the ruling party leadership believes that it was due to the hardcore anti-Trinamool stand of Choudhury that the seat-sharing talks between the Congress and the Trinamool fell flat.

In fact, Choudhury has also claimed that he is aware of the Chief Minister’s intention of defeating him at any cost, rather than ensuring the victory of her own party candidate.

“That is why she had to import a celebrity candidate from Gujarat with the sole intention of dividing the minority votes, which have always been in Congress' favour, including in the 2019 polls,” Chowdhury said.

However, if Yusuf Pathan’s nomination is a challenge for Chowdhury, the same can also be seen as an advantage for the senior Congress leader.

Pathan’s nomination has evoked infighting in the Trinamool leadership in Murshidabad, with many leaders and MLAs from the area threatening to abstain from campaigning while some have even threatened to campaign against the former India all-rounder.

The most vocal among them was Trinamool MLA from Bharatpur, Humayun Kabir, who had said that Pathan’s nomination was not acceptable at all. Although Kabir mellowed his tone after the intervention of the top party leadership and agreed to campaign for Pathan, there are still doubts about the genuineness of his claims.

Another advantage for Chowdhury is that the Left Front, especially the CPI(M), which also has a vote bank and an organisational network in Baharampur, is throwing its full weight behind the state Congress President.

In the middle of the Choudhury-Pathan tussle, the BJP’s bet is Nirmal Kumar Saha, a popular medical practitioner in Baharampur.

A greenhorn in politics, Saha’s family members have had a long association with the RSS.

Shah admits that the challenge is going to be tough, especially when the contest is against Adhir Ranjan Choudhury whose popularity among the voters in Baharampur has been unquestionable ever since 1999, when he won from the seat for the first time.

Even in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when the main contest was between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, Chowdhury won by a margin of 80,000 votes.

“I know the contest against Choudhury will be tough. But I will make all-out efforts to reach out to the voters with the message of the development works of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Shah. (IANS)


    Tags
  • Lok Sabha polls
  • Lok Sabha elections
  • Yusuf Pathan
  • General Elections 2024
  • Adhir Ranjan Choudhury

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