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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Behrampore, June 21, 2013
The battle for seat number 6 of Murshidabad’s Bewa-I gram panchayat has generated a great deal of interest among residents for more than one reason. For, not only are two members of the same family - uncle and nephew - in the fray, but it is a friendly contest with neither willing to say anything negative about the other.

Sources said that the Hossain family of Dharmadanga village has always been traditional supporters of the Congress. But after the winds of parivartan swept over the state ushering in a regime change, Firdous Hossain, a member of the family, joined the Trinamool Congress. His brother, Zakir Hossain, however, remained a Congress loyalist. Firdous, now a senior leader of the TMC at Farakka, has lobbied to get his son Jayed fielded as the Trinamool Congress candidate against his brother Zakir this year.

A total of 678 voters will be deciding the fate of seat number 6, sources add. And most of them are eagerly waiting for the outcome of this fight. In fact, the whole gram panchayat is polarised into two groups - while the youth are toiling 24x7 to ensure that Jayed wins, the middle aged and the senior citizens are campaigning for the Congress and therefore, Zakir Hossain.

Jayed Hossain, a newcomer in politics, isn’t ready to dub this contest as a ‘family battle’. He said, “You can say it is a battle between the policies of two political parties. I have no allegations against my uncle. He is a very good person.”

Zakir Hossain said, “Everyone is well aware what this area was like 10 years back. The Congress led gram panchayat developed this area. I am sure people haven’t forgotten that. I am very confident about my win from this seat. Then, I will be able to continue the developmental projects in this area.”