Who should be your candidate this time? Trinamool Congress conducts door-to-door survey to find out

The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has been conducting a door-to-door survey to get feedback on their Lok Sabha candidates’ performances and popularity for the past five years before finalising the candidate list this time.

Trinamool Congress has 34 parliamentarians from West Bengal currently, and the party is keen on finding out from the electorates of every seat how they have performed for the past five years and whether they are fit candidates this time as well.

Are there any grievances? Are they popular enough? If they are candidates will they be voted again? Are the voters demanding a new face? These are some of the things the survey has been finding out.

For every seat, four possible names of probable candidates have been placed before the electorate under survey, and they have been asked to select the most preferred name.

In West Bengal, eight Lok Sabha seats have been won by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014.

For the ruling Trinamool Congress, these seats are being viewed at as especially important because Bengal’s ruling party is desperate to win a few more seats this time.

Sources said that these are the seats that will have the greatest “surprise” element this time. For the seats with the Trinamool Congress, there may not be major changes except for just a few.

The Murshidabad and Raigunj seats were won by the CPIM – by Badaruddoza Khan and Mohammed Salim respectively. Darjeeling (SS Ahluwalia) and Asansol (Babul Supriyo) have been won by the BJP. The Congress has four seats – Malda Uttar (Mausam Noor), Malda Dakshin (Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury), Baharampore (Adhir Chowdhury) and Jangipur (Abhijit Mukherjee).

Mausam Noor from the Congress has joined the Trinamool Congress recently, and it has been announced already that she will contest from this seat itself from the Trinamool Congress. Soumitra Khan, Trinamool Congress parliamentarian from Bishnupur has joined the BJP, while the Trinamool’s Bolpur MP, Anupam Hazra, has been suspended for anti-party activities.

Other than these changes too, the Trinamool Congress is finding out about “people’s pulse” in all the seats through the survey even from where they have been winning for many years.

In the past, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has chosen some candidates because they were popular movie stars, and she felt that it would be a good way to woo the electorate. Bengali film stars Dev, Moon Moon Sen, Sandhya Roy, Satabdi Roy and Tapas Pal are some of the film stars who have been Trinamool Congress candidates from the Assembly and Lok Sabha seats.

Based on this survey, the party is expected to make a few changes in the candidate list. It is learnt that in some seats, people have preferred political leaders as candidates rather than movie stars.

Banerjee knows that her name brings the main votes to the Trinamool Congress and she had even said in the past that she was the candidate in all seats of West Bengal.

And after eight years in power since 2011, the Trinamool Congress chief seems to be aware that there is serious need of finding out whether the electorate is happy with their local parliamentarians. “It is also a good way to find out about what are the issues before the party, what are the areas of improvement, and most important, a good indication of how many seats the party might win this time,” said a party insider.

Now that the feedback is ready, the Trinamool Congress chief along with a group of senior leaders are now in the final stage of discussion before finalising the list of 42 names from the Lok Sabha constituencies.

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