TMC, Bloc both fight on same plank

TMC, Bloc both fight on same plank

The bust of Forward Bloc leader late Kamal Guha is the centre of all attention at Dinhata town in Cooch Behar, the last of the North Bengal districts going to polls.

If Kamal, an iconic Left leader from the district, is the name the Left-Congress coalition is invoking in its campaign, his son Udayan Guha is doing the same but for the Trinamool.  Of the 9 seats in Cooch Behar, the Trinamool has most riding on Dinhata, where Udayan is the sitting MLA, a mantle he took up from his father in 2006, a year before the Left stalwart passed away. Udayan, who has won the seat twice as a Bloc candidate, had a change of heart and joined the Trinamool in 2015. If Udayan is fighting on the strength of his lineage, Bloc candidate Akshay Thakur is also fighting in Kamal’s name, calling Udayan the “son who betrayed his father’s memory”.

The name of “Kamal-babu” is on everybody’s lips at Cooch Behar, more so at Dinhata, a place he represented eight times since 1962 before vacating it for his son. Kamal’s political career was one of dissidence, given his criticism of the CPM even though he remained a cabinet minister in the same government. Udayan is now using this as his plank, reminding people how his father exposed the “weaknesses” within the Left.

In a coup of sorts, Udayan has “usurped” the Bloc main party office at Dinhata and turned it into headquarters of the newly-formed Kamal Guha Memorial Committee, making it difficult for local Left leaders to stake a claim over it, without insulting the stalwart’s memory.

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