Ex-WB chief secy takes on former boss Buddha

Ex-WB chief secy takes on former boss Buddha

 Make no mistake, if new comers and passers-by wave to the former bureaucrat-turned-politician, there are many others who look the other way in this highly polarised constituency from where Bhattacharjee, the representative face of the CPM, romped home in five successive elections.

A reticent speaker preferring measured interaction with voters, the former chief executive officer of National Textile Corporation (NTC) served as chief secretary during the tenure of Jyoti Basu and also his present political foe. Nevertheless, 6.2 ft tall Gupta has adjusted himself in his new political avatar.

Jadavpur, once a colony of refugees from erstwhile East Bengal, has remained an impregnable Left bastion for long. The area underwent a sea change over the years with an altered demography following increase in upper middle class and affluent sections population. But delimitation and wind of change changed the political contours when in the 2010 civic polls, the CPM trailed behind the opposition by 1,400 votes.

“That gives me strength and confidence; people want to know what he has done for Jadavpur in the quarter of a century and there is hardly any reply. They always saw him (chief minister) in television, and not by their side,” Gupta told Deccan Herald.

Aware that Bhattacharjee is a tough candidate against a green horn like him, Gupta has consciously eschewed any personal attack against the chief minister, who despite several failures of the Left government, still enjoys an honest image.

Hence, when the chief minister said at a news conference that it was beneath his dignity to talk about former bureaucrats who have thrown their hat in the ring, the Trinamool candidate would only say: “I know I’m taking on my former boss. There’s nothing awkward in this, for we belong to two different political parties. It’s not a fight between two individuals.”

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