Millennium Post

Gajoldoba on poll day: Serving peace over khichdi & curry

Kolkata: Gajoldoba in Malbazar sub-division of Jalpaiguri stood out to be a different electoral battle where the supporters of the ruling party and that of the Opposition sat together and had their food upholding a spirit of a celebration.
Not a single incident of violence was reported in the area. The voters were in a picnic mood from Monday morning. The local Trinamool Congress leaders had come up with a unique idea of serving khichdi and curry not only to the voters turning up at the booths but many others were seen to be taking part in the programme. Non-voters also sat with the voters and enjoyed their food.
It was a different scenario altogether in Malbazar where the activists from the political parties like Trinamool Congress, BJP and CPI(M) joined together and had their food sitting next to each other. The political rivalry took a
backseat when Trinamool Congress local workers served food to all the voters without considering their political affiliations.
The electoral exercise turned violent in some parts of the state on Monday and some stray incidents were reported in some districts but Malbazar sub-division set an example as to how the democratic franchise can send across a message of peace and harmony.
The local Trinamool Congress leaders decided to arrange food for all who would participate in the election process. Hence a few cooks were brought in. All necessary arrangements were made so that a large number of people could be served food. Khichdi and curry were not only served to the voters, it was also arranged for a considerable number of election employees who went there to conduct the polls.
A local Trinamool Congress leader who was a part of the programme said they do organise such events during the polls days. The political rivalry hardly has any impact on the people in the area. Completely forgetting their political lineage, people in large numbers participated in the event, enjoyed the food sitting with one another.
People passing through the area who were not part of the election process also sat together with the voters and the election employees and had their food.
The hospitality extended by the organisers did not however dip when it came to the non-voters.
The initiative proved all the more successful with the locals coming forward in large numbers. It only shows how peaceful the election process was in this small part of Jalpaiguri district that set an example for one and all.
The locals also added that irrespective of their political affiliations, people joined them on the table to have food and this was what made it a unique election here.
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