Mahua Moitra, TMC’s candidate from Krishnanagar, West Bengal won by a margin of 65,404 votes. Moitra, a TMC MLA from Karimpur had BJP’s Kalyan Chaubey, a renowned footballer as her primary opponent.
While Moitra’s constituency has been a TMC stronghold for years — actor Tapas Pal had won from the seat twice — the BJP managed to win two zilla parishad seats sending the party into a huddle last year after the panchayat elections.
Moitra is set to win, but BJP’s Chaubey, a footballer who has played for Bengal’s popular teams Mohun Bagan and East Bengal also amassed a large number of votes.
Moitra joined Trinamool Congress in 2010 and six years later, fought her first election. Formerly a finance professional, Moitra was in unfamiliar ground in Krishnanagar’s Karimpur and initially drew criticism from both vernacular newspapers and party workers for being too ‘urbane’. However, she dug her heels in her constituency — renting a house there — so that she could be closer to the ground and spent a considerable amount of time working in Krishnanagar.
She also hit the headlines for moving court against the Narendra Modi government’s social media and surveillance efforts, which she told HuffPost India she had filed in a ‘personal capacity’. Following her petition in the Supreme Court to stop the government’s proposal to monitor social media accounts, the government withdrew the proposal. However, a similar proposal was floated by the UIDAI. So Moitra filed another petition against that as well.
According to a report on Bengali daily Anandabzar Patrika, Moitra’s opponents tried to rake up an issue they had used against her during the Assembly elections as well. The BJP had accused that she was an ‘outsider’ and hence would not be available in her constituency. They were proven wrong after Moitra started spending time there. This time around, the paper reported that her opponents have argued that Moitra may not be available since she has risen in the ranks of Trinamool Congress and will be more pre-occupied with work in Delhi and national politics than her own constituency.
Moitra, however, had told HuffPost India in an interview: “My ancestors were from here and I’m pretty comfortable working here.”