2 May 2024

West Bengal Lok Sabha elections-2024 How is election mood in Sandeshkhali?…Why did BJP play a gamble on Rekha Patra?

In the run up to the Lok Sabha elections-2024, Sandeshkhali of West Bengal is in the limelight. Life seems to have come to a standstill here. The only way to reach the small villages situated on the islands of Ichchamati river is through small and big boats. When some women of the village decided to fight this situation, they reached the President with a plea a few months ago. When these women of Sandeshkhali reached the President, its echo was heard in every corner of the country.

Home Ministry beefed up security of Rekha Patra

BJP has made Sandeshkhali victim Rekha Patra its candidate from Basirhat seat. The Union Home Ministry had earlier provided X category security to Rekha. But now her security has been increased to Y category. In fact, only after the IB report came, assessing the threat, the Union Home Ministry has given Y category security to BJP candidate and Sandeshkhali victim Rekha Patra.

Basirhat Lok Sabha seat borders Bangladesh

Basirhat Lok Sabha seat borders Bangladesh. Illegal infiltration becomes the biggest issue here in the general elections. The issue of Sandeshkhali, a small village in North 24 Parganas district, has changed the story of Basirhat Lok Sabha seat. The women of this village had accused TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his henchmen of gang rape in the TMC office.

After this issue came to light, BJP also put all its strength in making Sandeshkhali an issue against TMC in the Lok Sabha elections. The echo of Sandeshkhali was heard across the country but its effect is not visible on Basirhat Lok Sabha seat. The situation is such that even the women living here do not know what happened in Sandeshkhali. There was political rhetoric regarding this issue across the country and claims and promises were also made. During the elections many populist things were also said for the people of Sandeshkhali. But the situation did not change. Till now the situation is the same.

Now the women of Sandeshkhali say that they did not get the land, on the contrary, the government stopped the money they were getting under schemes like Lakshmi Bhandar.

Basirhat seat in possession of TMC since 2009

Sandeshkhali area is a part of Basirhat Lok Sabha seat which has been with TMC since 2009. Basirhat Lok Sabha seat consists of a total of 7 assembly constituencies. In which Sandeshkhali is also one. Last time, TMC's Nusrat Jahan had won the election by securing about 54 percent votes. This time TMC has fielded Haji Nurul after cutting Nusrat Jahan's ticket. Haji Narul was elected MP here in 2009. Whereas BJP has made Rekha Patra its candidate to take on TMC. This is the same Rekha Patra who had once highlighted the plight of the women of Sandeshkhali in her own way.

BJP said-Sandeshkhali is glaring example of TMC govt's failure

Indeed, the BJP is branding the Sandeshkhali incident as a glaring example of the TMC government's failure in West Bengal. This rationale underpins the party's selection of Rekha Patra, the vocal protester from Sandeshkhali, as its candidate. While BJP's campaign materials featuring Rekha Patra adorn the village during the Lok Sabha elections, the party's ground presence remains relatively subdued. TMC maintains its stronghold with flags and banners prominently displayed. Nevertheless, villagers are optimistic that TMC's grip on Sandeshkhali may loosen this time, potentially offering BJP an advantage. However, some residents feel TMC enjoys advantage because there are Muslim dominated areas nearby which are the vote bank of TMC.

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