Seven parliamentary constituencies in West Bengal will go to polls in the fifth leg of 2019 Lok Sabha election on Monday. Almost 1.17 lakh voters in Bangaon, Barrackpur, Howrah, Uluberia, Serampore, Hooghly and Arambagh Lok Sabha seats will cast their ballots to elect from 83 candidates contesting in this phase. Out of the seven, the Bangaon and Arambagh seats are reserved for the scheduled castes.
The contest is likely to be between the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Indian National Congress, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist). AITC, the ruling party in the state, had won all seven seats during the 2014 Lok Sabah election, with the CPI (M) and the BJP as runner-ups. This time around, the Mamata Banerjee-led party has given tickets to its sitting MPs on all seats except one.
From the reserved Bangaon seat, AITC has once again fielded Mamata Thakur, who will face Shantanu Thakur of BJP. This is expected to split votes from the Matua community, which were a crucial factor in AITC's win in the 2011 and 2016 Assembly elections. With a population of 30 lakh in the state, the Matua community is capable of influencing the results in the North and South 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal.
The other candidates of note from the Bangaon seat include Alakesh Das of CPI(M) and Congress' Sourav Prosad.
From Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, AITC has again given a ticket to Dinesh Trivedi, who will contest against Arjun Singh fighting on a BJP ticket. Singh had defected from AITC to BJP ahead of the polls. It will be Gargi Chatterjee from CPI(M) this time, and Mohammed Alam from Congress from this seat.
In Howrah, Prasun Banerjee will once again be contesting on AITC ticket, against Rantidev Sengupta of the BJP, Smitro Adhikary of CPI(M) and Suvra Ghosh of the Congress. From Uluberia, AITC has fielded Sultan Ahmed this time. He will go up against Joy Banerjee of BJP, Shoma Ranisree Roy of the Congress and Maksuda Khatun of CPI(M).
The AITC has fielded Kalyan Banerjee from the Sreerampur Lok Sabha seat, whereas the BJP has given a ticket to Debjit Sarkar. Congress has nominated Debabrata Biswas from the seat, whereas CPI(M) has nominated Tirthankar Ray.
Coming to Hooghly, Ratna De of AITC will compete against BJP's celebrity candidate Locket Chatterjee. Pratul Chandra Saha of Congress and Pradip Saha of CPI(M) are other notable candidates from the seat.
AITC has fielded Aparupa Poddar once again from the Arambagh seat, and she will fight Tapan Kumar Ray of the BJP, Jyoti Kumar Das of Congress and Sakti Mohan Malik of CPI(M).