"I know what I can do"
Trinamool candidate Krishna Bose won Jadavpur in 1999 by a mere 66,000 votes. Her opponents say this was because she rode piggyback on Mamata and not performance. She has a tough battle ahead this time with growing reports of her failures on the performance front and prolonged absences from her constituency. Bose tells Romita Datta she’s confident of pulling it through once again.
You have made a hat-trick from Jadavpur. Are you confident of making it for the fourth time? What are your poll promises?
I am not used to making any promises. In fact, I tell the people what I can do and what I will not be able to do for them. I am frank. Perhaps this is why they vote for me.
If you believe in action, why are you being dubbed as a “poor performer” in terms of utilisation of the MPLAD fund?
I have allocated several lakhs from my MPLAD fund for arsenic-free water, health, education and rural electricity. How can I help if the different implementing agencies sit on the money?
What can I do if people come to me with all their problems? I am not the CM. They can’t expect me to solve all problems. If my rivals criticise me on my performance they must first understand what the job of an MP is.
What exactly is an MP’s role?
I have been talking of the problems of my constituency in Parliament. I was the first to raise the issue of arsenic-tainted water in Baruipur. Moreover, you must be knowing that I am chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Committee, which was earlier chaired by leaders of the stature of A.B. Vajpayee and IK Gujral.
What about the grievances your people have against you?
There are no grievances. The only grievance people have is that they cannot vote freely. I have seen people coming up to me and saying: ‘Didi, can’t you do something so that we can vote freely?’
What are the areas from where such complaints come?
Bishnupur East and Mograhat. During the last panchayat elections, in a particular booth in Mograhat, out of 500 votes as many as 450 were cast in favour of the CPI(M) and only five in favour of the Trinamool.