8 months into politics, AMU alumnus wrests sole zilla parishad seat for Left in Bengal
The Urdu teacher at Dharmapur High School at Goalpokhar in Bengal’s North Dinajpur district won from Belon in Goalpokhar 2 block.kolkata Updated: May 22, 2018 17:04 IST
Eight months ago, Md Shahid Siddiquee,32, a former student of Aligarh Muslim University, was a newcomer in All India Forward Bloc, a partner in Bengal’s Left coalition.
When results to the polls in the state’s three-tier panchayats were released, Siddiquee emerged as winner of the sole zilla parishad (district council) seat for the Marxists who were facing rout.
The Urdu teacher at Dharmapur High School at Goalpokhar in Bengal’s North Dinajpur district won from Belon in Goalpokhar 2 block. This is the Left’s only zilla parishad seat out of 825 (only 622 saw contest) in Bengal. Siddiquee defeated veteran Trinamool Congress leader Abdul Ghani by 1,156 votes.
Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India and Revolutionary Socialist Party, the three other big constituents of the 10-party Left Front, could not win any seat in the highest tier of the panchayats.
Interestingly, Siddiquee is not even known to many of the top Left leaders in these parties. He will be introduced to them at a meeting of the Left Front leaders on May 26.
Siddiquee joined politics eight months ago after he was inspired by Ali Imran Ramz, Forward Bloc MLA from Chakulia in North Dinajpur district. Ramz is the second youngest MLA in the Bengal assembly.
“I was always a Forward Bloc supporter but it was Ramz who inspired me to join active politics. He also inspired me to contest. The credit for my victory goes to him,” said Siddiquee.
“Had Trinamool supporters not resorted to violence at eight booths our margin would have been higher. But I am sure many Trinamool supporters also voted for me,” he added.
Ramz claimed that Siddiquee’s victory has proved that Left Front can put up a fight against Trinamool if it keeps in touch with people at the grassroots. “From the very beginning I was against seat adjustment with any party outside the Left Front. In North Dinajpur, Forward Bloc contested on its own. I am grateful to our voters,” said Ramz.
CPI(M) Politburo member and MP from Raigunj in North Dinajpur, MP Salim, said the Left would have done much better in the north Bengal region had Trinamool not resorted to violence.