Campaigning for Sunday’s crucial by-poll for the Howrah Lok Sabha constituency ended on Friday amid intense speculation that the Trinamool Congress is warming to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In an election where its candidate is pitted against former ally, the Congress, as well as the Left Front, the withdrawal of the BJP candidate from the fray is being considered a move to bolster the prospects of the Trinamool Congress.

“It has become clear that the Trinamool Congress has tied up with the BJP,” chairperson of the Left Front Committee Biman Bose said while campaigning in support of the Left Front candidate during the day.

Deepa Dasmunsi, senior Congress leader and Union Minister of State for Urban Development, also alleged a “secret understanding” between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP.

“The by-poll gives a clear indication that the Trinamool Congress is going to support the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections,” Ms. Dasmunsi said.

The Trinamool Congress, however, denied the charge with its candidate Prasun Banerjee saying the Congress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the BJP are out to defeat the Trinamool Congress.

Mr. Banerjee admitted that it was a tough fight for the Trinamool Congress as the Opposition have put in all efforts for the campaign.

While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had held a number of public rallies during the election campaign, former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Leader of Opposition in State Assembly Surya Kanta Mishra have campaigned for the Left Front candidate Sridip Bhattacharya.

Among those to share the podium with State Congress leaders to canvas support for the party’s candidate Sanatan Mukherjee has been Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the polls. There will be live monitoring of sensitive areas through a high-definition camera mounted atop a vehicle that will be moving around the constituency, the State’s Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said. This measure is being put into effect for the first time “on an experimental basis”, he added.

  • Indication that Trinamool will support BJP in the 2014 general elections: Dasmunsi

  • Sensitive areas to be monitored live by a high-definition camera mounted atop a vehicle