Nafisa Ali | india | Hindustan Times
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Nafisa Ali

What awaits her in her new avatar as Congress candidate in the South Kolkata Lok Sabha constituency, where she takes on Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, is choppy waters.

india Updated: May 10, 2004 12:48 IST

The former national swimming champion and a renowned socialite, Nafisa Ali has taken a headlong plunge into electoral politics.

But what awaits her in her new avatar as Congress candidate in the South Kolkata Lok Sabha constituency, where she takes on Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, is choppy waters.

Nafisa, 47, had left Calcutta when she was just 24. Even so, she is determined to match Mamata in her bastion stroke by stroke.

Nafisa may sound confident but she is facing a tough task in South Kolkata from where Mamata has been winning since 1991. She also has to counter the CPI(M) candidate Rabin Deb.

The Congress had come a poor thrid in last elections and she is aware of the huge margin that separated Mamata and the Congress loser --- well over four lakh votes.

Many were surprised as to why she chose South Kolkata when she has settled down in Delhi. But she says: "I'm a Calcuttan and a Bengali. Every drop of my blood is Bengali... my father Ahmed Ali lives in Calcutta".

Earlier her name was doing the rounds from some seat in Delhi only.

"I love fighting odds...South Kolkata is made up of educated middle class Bengalis and I will request them to give me a chance," she has told the media.

And experts says that while her ability to strike chord with people is beyond any doubt, her biggest handicap will be her heavily accented Bengali.