People reject Mamata's candidate
The families of the 13 people killed in the 2007 Nandigram firing incident have urged Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to not to nominate Firoza Bibi, the incumbent MLA, for the assembly polls. The families have even threatened to abstain from voting.
Bibi, 65, who lost his son Imadul Islam in the police firing, was nominated by Banerjee in January 2009 bypolls when she rode the heights of passion and defeated the CPI(M) candidate by 39,551 votes.
"We want a candidate who can speak and fight for us in various fora," said Abdul Daiyan Sheikh, who lost his son Imdadul in the police firing and is the secretary of Nandigram-Khejuri Shahid Parivar Committee.
Sheikh said a letter was submitted to Banerjee in February end. Copies of the plea were also sent to Union minister of state for rural development Sishir Adhikari and Suvendu Adhikari - both Trinamool leaders in East Midnapore. "The decision about the candidate rests with our supreme leader," said Sishir Adhikari.
Nandigram is the first among equals in constituencies for Banerjee. If there is one event that has brought the Trinamool leader close to ending the 34-year-old Left rule in West Bengal, it is the Nandigram incident when on the orders of the Left Front government, police opened fire to stamp out protests against its plans to acquire land for a Special Economic Zone to be developed by the Indonesia-based Salim Group.
"It is not only she who has lost a son, we too have lost our sons. We thought she would help us and speak for us. But that did not happen," said Pulin Bihari Mondol, father of the late Pushpendu Mondol.