She is a nonagenarian and can barely move. She is largely confined to her bed, mostly lying and occasionally sitting up with the help of someone. However, despite her 90-odd years, her memory remains clear as ever. The struggles she and her family experienced back in the seventies is still fresh in her mind.
Meet Kalyani Majumder, wife of late Jamini Majumdar, a CPI(M) leader from South Dinajpur who played a key role in the Left establishing a strong base in the district. Majumder had also been an MLA from 1977 to 1980.
Sitting in her bedroom at Beltala Park in Balurghat, Kalyani Majumder said, “I feel Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee should come to power this time. All my blessings are with her.”
Majumder is disgusted with the way the ruling Left Front, especially the CPI(M), has been functioning of late. She believes that the party neither caters to the interests and welfare of the poor, nor does it harbour any sympathy for their lot.
“I can see our ideology being reflected in Mamata Banerjee’s speeches. She cares more for the poor and is more sympathetic towards them than the CPI(M),” said Kalyani, who back in her hey days was a party worker and also a leader of Mahila Samiti.
“No one in the party follows the Left ideology,” she said adding that such incidents as those in Amlasol, Nandigram, Singur, Tapasi Malik’s murder in Singur and the recent incident at Netai are glaring illustrations to the claim.
“Leaders like Abdulla Rasul, Promod Dasgupta, HK Konar, Jyoti Basu, Muzaffar Ahmed and Biman Bose were regular visitors to our house. The party’s district conference used to be held here,” she recalled. “These days, the leaders move around in swank cars, paying scant regard to the plight of the common people,” said the old woman.
“We struggled for two square meals a day. Hence, we were happy during the time the party district conference was held at our place as it ensured us proper meals so long as it lasted,” said Kajal Majumder, Kalyani’s son. “None of the leaders even bothered to look us up and enquire after our condition. We have been left to fend for ourselves since my father died. Congress leader Maharaja Bose, despite being a political rival, stood by us.”
Kajal alleged he had been victimised for questioning the ways of the party. He said that he had been transferred to Raiganj hospital from Balurghat district hospital, his workplace, after questioning the hospital authorities on some issues.“I loved the party and contributed money whenever they asked, yet this is what I got in return. They even took money from me while setting up a college in the name of my father at Potiram.”
He said he had moved the state administrative tribunal (SAT), which ordered a stay on his transfer. “However, despite securing a stay from SAT, they are not letting me join work,” said Kajal.
Disgusted with the CPI(M), he sought his mother’s permission about joining Trinamool and was inducted in February.