Nafisa Ali

Updated on Apr 19, 2004 04:07 PM IST

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.

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PTI | Byhindustantimes.com

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

But what awaits her in her new avataar  as a 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.

Challenging Encounters

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 third in the last elections and she is aware of the huge margin that separated and the Congress  loser - well over four lakh votes.

Calcutta Chromosome : Winnability factor?

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.

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