Home India Politics West Bengal too votes for kith and kin of politicians

West Bengal too votes for kith and kin of politicians


Kolkata : West Bengal appears to be embracing dynastic politics. The results of the assembly by-elections show popular support for the kith and kin of prominent political figures.

Four of the five candidates related to dead or living politicians were among the winners Tuesday. And parties across the political spectrum relied on family ties in choosing candidates for the Nov 7 by-elections.

In East Midnapore district’s Contai South, the Trinamool Congress winner was Dibyendu Adhikary, brother of Trinamool MP and prominent youth leader Subhendu Adhikary.

The seat fell vacant after Subhendu was elected to the Lok Sabha this year.

The Adhikary brothers’ father, Sisir Adhikary, is union minister of state for rural development and an MP from Contai constituency.

At Bongaon in North 24 Parganas district, the Trinamool candidate who won is Gopal Seth, whose father, the late Bhupen Seth, was a Trinamool legislator in the seat in 2001-06.

The Congress emulated its alliance partner Trinamool in north Bengal’s Malda district.

Abu Naser Khan Chowdhury, son of late Congress stalwart A.B.A. Ghani Khan Chowdhury, won from Sujapur constituency Tuesday, a pocket borough of the family.

The election was held after legislator Mausam Benazir Noor, Naser’s niece, was elected to the Lok Sabha from Malda North.

Mausam had become the Sujapur legislator in early 2009 after the death of her mother and Ghani Khan’s sister Ruby Noor, who was a four-time legislator from the seat.

Mausam’s other maternal uncle, Abu Hashem Khan Chowdhury, is the Lok Sabha MP from Malda South.

The Left may oppose the Congress-Trinamool on all issues but it is in sync with its rivals in giving ticket to blood relations of leaders.

And that led to its only electoral success. The Left lost all the other seats.

Ali Imran Ramj, son of murdered Forward Bloc legislator Ramzan Ali, wrested the Goalpokhar seat in North Dinajpur district vacated by Congress leader Deepa Dasmunsi on her election to the Lok Sabha.

Ramzan’s body was recovered in a hostel here in 1994. It later transpired that his wife Talat Sultana was involved in the killing.

Amid the triumph of blood ties, the sole exception was in Belgachia East on the city’s outskirts. There, voters rebuffed Ramala Chakraborty of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), widow of the late CPI-M leader Subhas Chakraborty.

Seeing the massive outpouring of grief for Chakraborty, the CPI-M had wanted to cash in on a perceived sympathy by fielding his wife. But the move boomeranged and Trinamool’s Sujit Bose triumphed by a huge margin.