Updated: March 12, 2021 11:38:42 am
THE MOST-WATCHED contest of this Assembly election in West Bengal also has a third, first-time contestant. With Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee and her former aide and BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari going head to head, the Left-Congress alliance has picked a 36-year-old youth leader to put up a fight.
A Masters in Political Science, who was a member of the CPM student wing SFI in her university days, Minakshi Mukherjee is among the several young faces the Left has picked to add some life into the alliance’s campaign.
A resident of Chalbalpur village in West Burdwan district, Mukherjee was inducted into the DYFI (CPM’s youth wing) local committee in 2008. Her image of a firebrand leader, good orator and dedicated party activist helped her rise fast within the DYFI circles, and by 2018, she was its state president. She also made it to the state committee of the CPM for West Bengal the same year.
Since then, Mukherjee along with DYFI state secretary Sayandeep Mitra, has been among the young faces in the Left spearheading protest movements across the state.
There had been speculation that Furfura Sharif cleric Abbas Siddiqui, who recently formed his Indian Secular Front (ISF) and has tied up with the Left and Congress, will field a candidate from Nandigram. However, the ISF is believed to have refused to put up a candidate from the high-voltage seat, after which it went to the Left.
Mukherjee claims she is undaunted by the titans she is facing. “Of course it is a high-profile constituency… those who did nothing for the state in the last few years are contesting from there. But this fight is not just about contesting from one seat but to send a message to all 294 seats in Bengal. The youth need employment, the state needs investment and the people need relief from economic setbacks. This is an election which should be fought on real issues and not on religious polarisation,” she told The Indian Express.
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