Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Pathan Vs Adhir A Jolt For INDIA Bloc?

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Pathan Vs Adhir A Jolt For INDIA Bloc?

Pathan will certainly have an edge among the young voters of Berhampore especially among the minority section.

Robin RoyUpdated: Monday, March 11, 2024, 10:01 AM IST
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Left Adhir Rajan Chowdhury, Right Ysusf Pathan | X/ Canva

Pinch-hitter Yusuf Pathan against a veteran and loyal Congress old-timer, Adhir Chowdhury, could deal a blow to the INDIA bloc. Even though the Congress has not announced Adhir’s name so far, the five-time MP is certain to get a ticket from Baharampur.

Adhir has been Congress’s torchbearer in West Bengal even as the party is close to becoming a “cipher” in the state. Adhir’s popularity can be gauged from the fact that he retained the Baharampur seat by an impressive margin of 80,000 votes in 2019 despite the party fighting hard to stay politically relevant in Bengal in the face of a saffron surge.

Adhir's Stronghold In Baharampur Seat

That Adhir has not lost a Lok Sabha election from Baharampur since 1999 reveals his excellent PR and bonding with his vote bank and the minority-dominated, backward district. Adhir has since then bettered his winning margin with every election and is undoubtedly Murshidabad’s most influential politician.

However, with TMC announcing Baroda-based former cricketer Yusuf Pathan, political grapevine believes that it will make it atough contest for the Congress veteran. Murshidabad has Bengal’s highest Muslim population of 66.28 %, according to the 2011 census. Also, if TMC intends to woo the Muslim electorate through Pathan, it will certainly serve as a breach of understanding of the INDIA bloc.

Choosing Yusuf Pathan, Contrast To Banerjee's Potshots In Past

Despite being a native of Gujarat, TMC boss Mamata Banerjee has brought Pathan all the way from Gujarat to contest elections in Bengal. This is in contrast to how she used to take potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and all the BJP leaders who campaigned for the BJP in the 2021 elections for being bohiragoto, or “outsiders”. In the 2021 assembly elections, she had campaigned saying paradropping leaders from elsewhere to campaign would not cut ice with the local masses.

However, Pathan, 41, will certainly have an edge among the young voters of Berhampore especially among the minority section. It will be interesting to see how Congress now plays its cards.

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