Udayan Guha is one of the MLAs who exposed the loosely weaved ties of the Left Front allies by joining Trinamool Congress in October 2015 to support Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s effort to bring development in Cooch Behar. Guha stated that Didi’s endeavour – which could fulfil the dream of his father, veteran Forward Bloc leader late Kamal Guha – had motivated him to join the party, despite winning in the 2011 Assembly elections with Forward Bloc’s ticket, and he is certain of raising his margin as a TMC candidate from Dinhata Assembly constituency in Cooch Behar. He shares his experience of working for TMC and some of his future plans with Pritesh Basu.
Q: What are the thrust areas in your election campaign?
A: Mamata Banerjee’s contribution to the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh, overall development of the area and the unholy alliance between Congress and CPI(M) are the thrust areas of our election campaign here.
Q: The Opposition is spreading canard against you for joining TMC. How are you managing the situation?
A: See, people know what kind of man Udayan Guha is. I have been contesting in Assembly elections from Dinhata since 2006 and became MLA in 2011. The people here know my contribution for the development of the area and they also know that I had joined TMC to bring further development here as the party is led by someone like Mamata Banerjee, who has not taken a single day leave in the past four and a half years to work for the people.
Q: What are the development projects that had been taken up in the past four and half years in Dinhata?
A: A 950-metre long bridge across Singhibari River connecting Dinhata and Sitai blocks is one of the major projects that were undertaken in the past four and a half years. The construction of the bridge is almost complete. Besides benefitting local people, vehicles between Assam and Siliguri will also get a short route. Cooch Behar Thakur Panchanan Barma University has come up. Now the students here do not need to travel to Siliguri for post-graduate courses. An ITI college has also come up.
Q: Is there further scope for development in Dinhata that you would like to carry out if voted back to power?
A: Yes. My first task would be to set up a college here. Dinhata is the only sub-division in the district which has only one college. More than 10,000 students study in that college, thus it tops the priority list.
Q: As per the 2014 Lok Sabha election, TMC was ahead in eight out of nine Assembly seats in Cooch Behar. What is your reading of the 2016 Assembly polls?
A: People have witnessed the situation and we are confident of winning in all the nine Assembly seats this time.
Q: Do you think your winning margin will go up?
A: Surely. I am not going by the result of 2014 Lok Sabha poll in Dinhata. I had won by 30,026 votes in 2011 Assembly elections and this time the figure will go up.
Q: Your father Kamal Guha was known for his anti-CPI(M) stand in Left Front. Do you feel happy with your decision of leaving Forwad Bloc before the Left Front had joined the hands of Congress assessing crisis of existence?
A: Let the time come and the fate of this drama of hobnobbing between Congress and CPI(M) will be exposed. CPI(M) will forget its new friend as soon as its wishes are fulfilled and will blame Congress if the alliance fails to leave any impact.
Q: Your competitors are carrying out a whispering campaign that there is infighting in TMC in Dinhata as you had joined the party. How far it is true?
A: These are the old techniques of CPI(M) to confuse people. But common people are much more aware of the present situation. There was never any infighting in TMC in Cooch Behar. Each and every one in the party is fighting for a common cause which is to win the election with higher margin of votes to ensure that the development work goes on.