They might belong to the same family, but in this Lok Sabha polls relatives are divided on political lines with some even fighting against each other from their home constituency.
In West Bengal’s Raigunj Lok Sabha seat, sitting Congress MP Deepa Dasmunshi is contesting against brother-in-law Satyaranjan Dasmunshi of Trinamool Congress. Deepa is married to former Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, who has been lying in coma at a Delhi hospital since the last few years. Satyaranjan is his brother.
From different floors of the same family house in Raiganj, the duo of sister-in-law and brother-in-law are running their campaigns. Satyaranjan says their fight is political and because of their family bond they never make any personal comments against each other in poll meetings.
“I do not say anything against her since we are from the same family. I talk only about the good work that our party head Mamata Banerjee has done and what I will do according to the Trinamool philosophy,” he says. Similarly, Trinamool’s Dasrath Tirkey and Left Front’s sitting MP Manohar Tirkey are married into the same family but will now be fighting against each other from Alipurduar seat in Jalpaiguri district. “Our political relations are just opposite of our personal relations,” Manohar said. Although their wives are sisters, the brothers-in-law never meet these days.
Dasrath was elected thrice as an MLA on a ticket by Left Front constituent RSP but then later on switched over to Trinamool. “He cheated the people in that way. I don’t say this in election meetings but people know it very well,” Manohar says, adding that their wives are also convinced about the political path they have taken.
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Reigning Bengali film star Dev is contesting on a Trinamool Congress ticket from Ghatal while his uncle Shaktipada Adhikari is a CPI(M) zonal committee member from Keshpur. A long-time supporter of the Communist ideology, Adhikari was left disappointed after his nephew’s candidature was announced by Mamata Banerjee.
In Kolkata, BJP’s Tathagata Roy and Trinamool’s SougataRoy are brothers but will be fighting the election from different seats. Sougata will defend his seat from Dum Dum while Tathagata will fight from Kolkata south seat. On different sides of the political divide, they hardly catch up with each other.