March 23, 2021 9:18:36 am
One of Mamata Banerjee’s oldest aides, Jyotipriya Mallick holds the Food & Supplies portfolio in the state Cabinet. An MLA from Habra constituency in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, Mallick will contest from the same seat in the upcoming elections.
Popularly known as ‘Balu Da’, Mallick belongs to Burdwan’s ‘Agoori’ community – a warrior community with links to Burdwan’s maharaja whose ancestors came from Rajasthan. Over the years, he has gained considerable influence over the state’s Matua community, the majority Scheduled Caste community in West Bengal, which has impact over poll results in about 70 constituencies in Bengal.
The president of the North 24 Parganas district unit of the Trinamool Congress, Mallick is said to have introduced Mamata Banerjee to Matua community’s ‘Baro Ma (Binapani Devi). In the 2011 Assembly elections, the Trinamool Congress got overwhelming support from the community and Mamata Banerjee became CM.
After the 2011 victory, Mamata Banerjee made Mallick Minister of the Food and Supplies department, and he continues to hold the post. He is credited with implementing the Digital Ration Card in the state and Mamata Banerjee’s dream project of providing one kg rice for Rs 2 to the downtrodden sections.
However, in recent days, the BJP has increased its efforts to gain support of the Matuas and is trying to reach out to voters in the North 24 Parganas district as well. In the upcoming polls, Mallick’s primary challenge is to hold on to regions where he has influence and secure a win for his party
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.