Former Union Minister Shatrughan Sinha and Babul Supriyo, contesting from Trinamool Congress, are leading from Asansol Lok Sabha and Ballygunge Assembly constituencies in West Bengal respectively after initial rounds of counting.
After twelfth round of counting, Babul Supriyo is leading the Ballygunge Assembly seat by a margin of more than 8,000 votes. On the other hand, Sinha is leading by a margin of over 62,000 votes after the sixth round of counting.
But what is common among both the candidates is that the two were once in the BJP fold. Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha quit BJP before the Lok Sabha Elections in 2019 and joined Congress. The former Lok Sabha MP from Patna Sahib had been a strong contendor from the seat. However, in the Lok Sabha elections, Sinha lost to BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad and led to his unsuccessful stint with the Congress.
After joining TMC last year, Shatrughan Sinha is the TMC’s latest catch as part of its national expansion plan.
Babul Supriyo, on the other hand, too is a former Union minister and two-time BJP MP from Asansol. Supriyo was elected to the Lok Sabha from Asansol in 2014 and 2019, however he lost the assembly election from Tollygunj on the BJP ticket in 2021. He was also dropped from the Union Cabinet during the reshuffle in July last year.
By making Sinha and Supriyo as party candidates, Mamata is not only drawing strength from the BJP and Congress, but also taming national aspirations. Recently the party also contested the polls in Goa and Manipur.
Veteran leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha has also showed that he doesn’t have any plans to quit politics in the near future. Sinha joined TMC last year and was made the Vice President of the TMC before Bengal polls.
However, Sinha hasn’t been given any electoral position so far. Yashwant Sinha along with others like Sushmita Dev and Luizinho Faleiro are part of party’s larger plan outside Bengal.
With the latest entry, TMC has also showed that it isn’t a party of Bengal, run by Bengali-speaking leaders. But, Shatrughan Sinha’s pitch in the mixed population of Asansol can be considered as the successful bid from the party.