At Ground Zero,Mamata banks on father-son juggernauthttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/at-ground-zero-mamata-banks-on-fatherson-juggernaut/

At Ground Zero,Mamata banks on father-son juggernaut

Two years ago,the father son duo of Sisir Adhikary and Suvendu Adhikary was instrumental in organising the first protest in Nandigram when the Left Front government planned to acquire land for a chemical hub.

Two years ago,the father son duo of Sisir Adhikary and Suvendu Adhikary was instrumental in organising the first protest in Nandigram when the Left Front government planned to acquire land for a chemical hub.

Today,they are the faces of Trinamool Congress in East Midnapore as they prepare for the showdown with the Communists in Contai and Tamluk Lok Sabha seats,respectively. Their active participation during Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee’s agitation in Nandigram against farm land acquisition helped the party to make a dent in the CPM’s bastion which got reflected in the recent panchayat polls. “Suvendu deserves more credit than me. He stayed in Nandigram for days organising the poor farmers to protest against CPM-led government’s forcible land acquistion. Fourteen innocent people lost their lives in police firing,many more were killed by CPM cadres who raped women and torched houses,” says Sisir.

They are not new to agitation as they claim their family’s tryst with protest against injustice right from the British India.

“We are a family with a political tradition. Our house in East Midnapore was set on fire three times during the pre-Independence era because we were opposing the British Raj. Today my son and I are carrying on the legacy,though from a different perspective. Nandigram only highlighted our fight for people,” adds 72-year-old Sisir.

Advertising

The father-son duo is banking on Nandigram to carry forward the success of the panchayat polls — when the Trinamool Congress ousted the CPM from the district — to the next higher level of Lok Sabha elections. “No one will forget Nandigram. It will not only be our main campaign in East Midnapore but for the whole of West Bengal,” Suvendu adds emphatically.

“Despite the Calcutta High Court order,the state government is yet to give compensation to the hundreds of victims of Nandigram. People who were injured,women who were raped,got nothing from the government. The state government was supposed to spend Rs 1 crore on rebuilding damaged and torched houses,but the money was usurped by local CPM leaders. We are highlighting all this before the people,” the 35-year-old says.

The father-son duo is not new to politics. Sisir has been the chairman of Contai municipality for the last 31 years. He became an MLA from Contai (south) in 1982. He was later elected from the Egra Assembly seat. On the other hand,Suvendu was involved in student and youth politics in the district during his college days. He also became an MLA from Contai in the last Assembly elections. In this Lok Sabha polls,Suvendu is taking on CPM strong man from the district,Laxman Seth.

Suvendu has become a youth icon in the district both among the party workers and the residents and has even outshone his father. “I am proud of my son. I do not tell him what to do in politics anymore. He is capable enough,” says Sisir.

Download the Indian Express apps for iPhone, iPad or Android