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Combatants cut contrasts

Polling for the third phase on Wednesday turned out to be a lazy day for housing minister and CPI(M) nominee from Dum Dum Gautam Deb. Mou Chakraborty writes.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2011 12:54 IST
Mou Chakraborty
Mou Chakraborty
Hindustan Times

Polling for the third phase on Wednesday turned out to be a lazy day for housing minister and CPI(M) nominee from Dum Dum Gautam Deb.

While Deb, who has been one of the prominent faces of the Left's poll campaign, sought to spend the day tracking Google maps on his i-Pad, his opponent Bratya Basu, the Trinamool nominee, braved the summer heat and did the rounds of his constituency extensively.

While Basu is a greenhorn in electoral politics, the veteran Left leader has been a five-time MLA. In a seemingly relaxed mood as he sat inside the CPI(M) office at Nager Bazar, Deb said, "On election day, I prefer to remain indoors."

As opposed to breaking sweat scouring his constituency, Deb sat scanning various streets of his constituency on the Google Map. With his eyes rivetted on the satellite images, Deb said, "I fear that there could be trouble in some areas in the afternoon. Should there be any trouble, I would know which streets to take and rush my people to the spot. I have all election-related data and timely updates on several other important issues at my fingertips."

Basu however, diligently did the rounds of his constituency. He went around six municipal wards of the Dum Dum, before returning to the Trinamool party office at Gora Bazar.

Trinamool MP Sougata Roy sat waiting for the theatre personality in the party office. Once Basu arrived, the seasoned politician ushered him in, saying, "It is very important that you visit as many polling booths as you can on polling day. The same would help encourage our party workers."

Basu said, "I will rest for sometime and set out for another round. I am doing the rounds of my seat with a view to keeping track of the polling process at every booth and ensure that there is no foul play."

Sounding upbeat about his chances, Basu said, "The fact that so many people turned out to vote means that they want change. Even while I was campaigning, the response was very positive. I know I would win."

However, Deb also appeared upbeat about his prospects, saying, "Trinamool are doubtlessly worried and hence had to bring in the prime minister to campaign in this constituency. But our vote bank here is too strong and unless my political machinery fails me, I don't see how I can lose the seat. I can vouch for the fact that my workers won't fail me," Deb, a former MLA from Hasnabad, said.