The Congress is contesting on its own strength in the State after 10 years

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will visit West Bengal on April 22 and campaign in Malda and Uttar Dinajpur districts, West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told The Hindu on Sunday.

This will be Ms. Gandhi's first campaign in the State in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. Earlier Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had visited the State and held a rally in Jalpaiguri district.

His plans for a rally in the city were washed out by inclement weather, which wrecked the arrangements, although he made a brief appearance.

It may be mentioned that much of the Congress party support in the State is concentrated in Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, and Murshidabad districts from where the party had elected six MPs in the 15th Lok Sabha. During her visit, the Congress president is likely to concentrate on the party strongholds.

Raiganj Lok Sabha seat (Uttar Dinajpur) has thrown up an interesting electoral contest between Union Minister of State for Urban Development Deepa Dasmunsi and Central Committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Md Salim. The Trinamool Congress has pitted S Dasmunsi, who is the brother of former minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.

Ms. Dasmunsi thus has her brother-in-law as one of her opponents.

In Malda (split into two constituencies) two sitting Congress MPs are in the fray. Union Minister of State for Health Abu Hashem Khan Chowdhury is contesting from Malda South while Mausam Benajir Noor is contesting from Malda North Lok Sabha seat. All these constituencies go to polls on April 24.

The Congress is contesting on its own strength in the State after 10 years.

According to sources in the State Congress, party's vice president Rahul Gandhi is also likely to campaign across the six seats in north Bengal and Murshidabad that will go to polls on April 24.

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