Kolkata | Jagran Political Desk: The 2021 assembly elections in West Bengal is majorly seen as a bipolar contest between Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, the same cannot be said for the all crucial Siliguri Vidhan Sabha Constituency where senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Asok Bhattacharya maintains a strong political space.

Siliguri, one of the biggest towns in the Darjeeling district, is considered as Bhattacharya's stronghold. The senior CPI(M) leader, who served as West Bengal's Cabinet Minister for nearly 20 years, had first won from Siliguri in 1991.

Till 2011, Bhattacharya continued to hold this seat and made Siliguri his own bastion. However, Bhattacharya was defeated by TMC's Rudra Nath Bhattacharya in the 2011 assembly elections.

However, the senior CPI(M) leader made his comeback in 2016 and defeated TMC candidate Bhaichung Bhutia by more than 14,000 votes. Bhattacharya this year will once again contest from Siliguri and has expressed confidence about his victory.

Notably, Board of Cricket Control (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly had reportedly reached out to Bhattacharya to persuade the senior CPI(M) leader to join the BJP. Though Bhattacharya refuted the reports, he had said that he has been in regular touch with "good people" like Ganguly.

"He is a Bengal cricket legend. He fell ill. He is popular across Bengal, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Should I not give him a suggestion about entering politics," Bhattacharya had said once.

Talking about the TMC, which is seeking its third straight win in West Bengal, has fielded senior party leader Omprakash Mishra from Siliguri to counter Bhattacharya. Meanwhile, the BJP, which is banking on the Modi wave, has fielded Shankar Ghosh.

Will Bhattacharya win once again from Siliguri or the TMC or BJP stun the CPI(M), this will be declared on May 2 when the election commission begins the counting of votes for West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma