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The young Turk who’s taking on old guard

india Updated: Apr 01, 2011 18:01 IST
Sagarnil Mukherjee
Sagarnil Mukherjee
Hindustan Times
Sagarnil Mukherjee

Youngest Congress candidate in Murshidabad Shoumik Hossain’s battle at Domkal seat is not only against the Left. He will also have to face stiff “opposition” from some Congressmen in Domkal, who aren’t happy with his candidature.

Hossain, 27, definitely has this in mind as he campaigned in the villages of Domkal, a Left Front bastion. And that is perhaps one of the reasons Hossain seemed more comfortable introducing himself as MP Mannan Hossain’s son rather than the Congress candidate.

No political party had succeeded in defeating the Left here since 1977. MLA Anisur Rahman has been winning from the seat since 1991 but things started going wrong for the Left since the last Lok Sabha election. Rahman, who was pitted against Shoumik’s father and Mannan Hossain, not only lost the Murshidabad seat but even failed to take the lead from Domkal. At present, 10 of the 12 panchayats in the Domkal Assembly segment are run by the Congress.

Clad in a white pyjama-kurta and sneakers, Hossain started off around 8.45 am from his Behrampore home with his five trusted five aides in a black Scorpio. A convoy of 30-odd bikes followed him from Islampur.

Around noon, Hossain reached Domkal, where hundreds of Congress supporters waited to greet their MP’s son. “Compared with my father, I am a novice in politics. He knows this area and the problems of the people of Domkal far better than me,” Hossain said on the way to Domkal.

Alighting from an aide’s bike and stepping onto the red morum road at Dubapara village, Hossain sought the blessings of the locals. He hugged people, kissed children and saluted elderly persons, touching their feet.

In the afternoon, he held a meeting in the Domkal bus stand area. “Anisur Rahman has been an MLA since 1991. But he did nothing for the development of Domkal and for the employment of the youths of this area. These are going to be the key issues in my election campaign,” said Shoumik.

Md Sahanuzaman, a resident of Bagdanga, said, “We saw our minister only on inaugurations. He has done nothing for the development of this area in 20 years. Taps were installed but not a single drop of water falls from them. So we are forced to drink arsenic-laced water. We are hopeful about the young and energetic Congress candidate.”

Abdul Monim Biswas of Dubapara said, “I haven't heard of Shoumik but his father is a wellknown face here. This year, the minister has no chance of winning. Everyone is against him.”

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