DECLARING A counter-movement against the “oppressive” Trinamool Congress government, Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra, who was arrested for circulating a cartoon of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the Internet, announced Saturday that he will contest in the upcoming Assembly elections as an ‘independent’ candidate.
Mahapatra, who is also the convenor of a human rights organisation, ‘Aakranta Aamra’ (we are the assaulted), will be contesting from Behala (east) against present mayor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Sovan Chatterjee.
The organisation comprising “victims of human rights violations under the Mamata Banerjee regime” also announced the candidature of Pratima Dutta, wife of slain activist Tapan Dutta, who was allegedly killed by TMC workers for his work against the illegal filling up of ponds and water bodies in Howrah. Dutta will file her nomination from Domjur in Howrah.
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Mahapatra said the decision was “a manifestation of the peoples’ desire to see an end to the oppressive Trinamool regime”. The JU professor also asked for the “support” of all political parties across the spectrum. “We have sought the support of all political parties that are opposed to the Trinamool Congress. I am not fighting this election for my self, but for all the people in this state who are not safe as long as this government is in power,” he said.
Forum convenor Arunava Ganguly said with their “experiment”, they sought to represent the ire felt by common man against the TMC government. “The decision to contest the polls is more of an experimental venture to try sending a true peoples’ representative to the Assembly who will be the voice of all those who have been oppressed, tormented and attacked by the barbaric Trinamool regime,” he said.
Former Supreme Court judge Ashok Ganguly said it was time the people got together to defeat the “tyrannical rule” of the ruling Trinamool Congress.
Mahapatra was arrested on April 14, 2012 for circulating a cartoon of Mamata and her associate Mukul Roy, soon after Dinesh Trivedi was asked to resign as Railway Minister in 2012.
When contacted, Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee said, “The people have allied with us. Victory will be ours because of the work that we have done.”