Buddhadeb seeks re-election from Jadavpur
Kolkata, Apr 25 : Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, a quintissential Bangali-babu who brought about winds of change in the corridors of power of the Left Bastion with progressive thoughts and bold reforms, will seek mandate for the fourth successive term from Jadavpur constituency on April 27.
Seeking re-election from Jadavpur, a one time red citadel with a fast changing demographic face, perhaps best symbolises the tight rope walking of Mr Bhattacharjee for a symbiosis between the past and the present, between Marxism and capitalism.
A winner from the constituency for fourth successive terms, Mr Bhattachajree may afford to have a feel of comfort with his newly acquired stardom in the political arena, but the character of his constituency, fast becoming upwardly mobile from the proletariat of the sixties and seventies is the indicator of state's urban psyche that the CPI(M) can hardly ignore.
Pitted against Mr Bhattacharjee are former bureaucrat Dipak Ghosh of the Trinamool Congress and Congress candidate Mr Omprakash Mishra a Jadavpur University lecturer, who hardly match his weight and charisma, but still expect to give a good fight.
The nomination of Mr Ghosh, who once served the Left Front Government during Mr Bhattacharjee's tenure as Home Minister, is being seen as an act of gambling of Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, perhaps expecting a similar upset, that she pulled by defeating Mr Somnath Chatterjee in the 1984 Parliament elections from the Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency.
The Left, who had built a solid base in this refugee-dominated area ever since the partition of the country, had never tasted defeat in Assembly elections from Jadavpur which was made an Assembly constituency in 1967. However, things changed in post 1984.
With a majority of the local population becoming solvent and portions of the constituency turning posh, the mandates in successive elections were never as partisan as they were before.
The share of vote of the CPI(M) declined to 55 per cent in the last elections from 65 per cent in 1987.
The CPI(M) also faced a split before the 2001 Assembly elections with a section of partymen, led by Mr Saifuddin Chowdhury and Mr Samir Putatundi, formed the Party for Democratic Socialism taking away a clutch of CPI(M) votes.
However, both Mr Bhattacharjee and his party are confident about winning the seat this time as well, thanks to the Chief Minister's wide acceptance and the changing outlook of the CPI(M).
But the Trinamool Congress has banked on a campaign alleging that the Chief Minister had done nothing for the constituency, including supply of drinking water, renovating sewerage and providing employment to the youth. The Congress, on the other hand, harps on the alleged lack of development of the state, hoping to woo voters.
Facing the challenge, Mr Bhattacharjee has also given the slogan of more development and more employment.The dream Mr Chief Minister is selling may or may not have its buyers in the face of a divided opposition, but the battle, for sure, is the cynosure of all eyes.