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Left gives in to family politics

The Left has softened its hard-boiled resistance to fielding poll candidates who are relatives or family members of established leaders. And this time, they have bettered the record of the Trinamool or the Congress on this count. Ravik Bhattacharya reports.

kolkata Updated: Apr 01, 2011 17:54 IST
Ravik Bhattacharya

The Left has softened its hard-boiled resistance to fielding poll candidates who are relatives or family members of established leaders. And this time, they have bettered the record of the Trinamool or the Congress on this count.

While the Left Front has at least 10 candidates who carry the “relative” tag, the Trinamool has six of such elements and the Congress three.

Of such candidates, some are young members the CPI(M) is grooming.

"We communists encourage our comrades to inspire their family members to join the party and embrace the ideology. However, that is not the sole eligibility for being a candidate. Though we have fielded a few family members of our leaders, we have not necessarily allotted the same constituency (as the leaders') for them," said Mohammad Selim, central committee member, CPI(M).

However, despite Selim's claim, Chabi Pakhira, wife of Ratan Pakhira, a five-time MLA from Ghatal, is contesting from her husband'sconstituency.

Fuad Halim, in his early forties and is son of outgoing speaker Hasim Abdul Halim, said: "I have been in politics since my college days. I used to manage my father's election work." He is contesting from Ballygunge.

Anirban Hazra (30), who is contesting from Sankrail, is a homoeopath by profession. His family has been involved in Left politics and his father, Haran Hazra, had been a long-time MLA from the same constituency.

Himani Hasda (27), contesting from Manbajar, Purulia, is the youngest of the 46 women candidates fielded by the Left Front. Her inspirer is his father, Debendranath Hasda, a CPI(M) zonal committee member.

The CPI(M) has fielded Tamalika Ponda Seth, wife of Lakshman Seth, who was a formidable leader in the industrial town of Haldia but was defeated in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and has not been given a ticket this time.

Janaki Singh, the CPI(M) candidate from Jorasanko, is the sister of Lagandeo Singh, who is a four-time MLA from Howrah North.

Udayan Guha, son of Forward Bloc leader Kamal Guha in north Bengal, is the candidate for the Dinhata constituency. His father was elected uninterrupted from 1977 to 2001.