Campaigning is family business
American comedian Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx had once said, “Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife”. Had “Groucho” been alive, this would have been the right time for him to fly to Bengal to see his ‘words of wisdom’ being implemented in toto. Nandini Guha reports.kolkata Updated: Apr 21, 2011 14:33 IST
American comedian Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx had once said, “Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife”. Had “Groucho” been alive, this would have been the right time for him to fly to Bengal to see his ‘words of wisdom’ being implemented in toto.
Let’s begin with Dr Meera Mitra. She is the wife of Amit Mitra, former secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), who is contesting the assembly polls on a Trinamool ticket from Khardah.
Dr Meera Mitra specialises in micro-finance and her work has taken her to remote villages in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. But now, she is focused only on Bengal. With polling just a few days away, Meera follows her husband everywhere and walks about 9km daily to ensure that Mitra gets elected.
“She’s the woman behind the scenes. Her stamina surprises me,” Amit Mitra told HT.
Next on the list is Saira, wife of Dr Fuad Halim, CPI(M) candidate from Ballygunge. To ensure that her husband enters the Writers’, Saira has come up with a unique campaign plan. She, along with Dr Halim’s friends, have coined a slogan: ‘It’s good to vote’. They are using this punch line to target young voters. “Irrespective of political affiliation, we’re encouraging youngsters to vote. I’m also accompanying Dr Halim on his door-to-door campaigns,” Saira said. She also manages her husband’s e-campaigns in the cyber-world.
If the wives of the candidates are slogging it out for their husband’s victory, will their kids be far behind? Surely not.
Twenty-year-old Puja walks through the narrow bylanes of Shyampukur daily to canvass for her mother and Trinamool Congress candidate, Sasi Panja. Ditto for renowned singer Anup Ghoshal, who gets the company of his two daughters in Uttarpara regularly. “In the evenings, we make it a point to walk with our father. Sometimes, he cannot judge the crowd. We tell him if people are waving at him or booing, Anupama Ghoshal told HT.
Sitting TMC MLA Sovondeb Chattopadhyay is no different, too. His sons, Ishandeb and Sayandeb, follow their father like a shadow. “From walking in processions to door-to-door visits, my sons are with me,” he said.