TMC's multi-lingual councillor determined to win over non-Bengali voters in Bhowanipore
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress has found a trusted soldier in the form of a multilingual party councillor from Bhowanipore, to woo the non-Bengali voters in the Assembly constituency.
TMC councillor from ward 70 Ashim Basu is reaching out particularly to the non-Bengali voters through short interactions and informing them about the development work of the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Apart from Bengali and English, Basu, who is a B.Com graduate, is fluent in Hindi and Gujarati as well and is also at ease speaking Oriya and Punjabi.
"I am speaking in mixed language and asking them about their thoughts regarding the elections. I am appealing to them to keep the national perspective in mind before casting their votes. Apart from attending political meetings in favour of our candidate Mala Roy, I am mainly concentrating on short interactions with the residents of the apartments in my ward as well as some adjacent wards. Community meetings are also being held involving the non-Bengalis," Basu said.
Bhowanipore is the only Assembly constituency under South Kolkata, in which BJP candidate Tathagata Roy had taken a lead in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with a meagre 130 votes, even though TMC candidate Subrata Bakshi won convincingly.
Assessment of the loss in Bhowanipore revealed that a number of non-Bengali voters had voted for the saffron party. However, during the 2016 Assembly polls, Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee won over Congress candidate Deepa Dasmunshi by a margin of over 25,000 votes in Bhowanipore.
Bhowanipore has a predominance of non-Bengali voters, which include Marwaris, Gujaratis, Punjabis, Oriyas and Biharis. Wards 71, 70, 63, 72 and 73 all have non-Bengali voters. Around 60 percent of the total number of voters in Bhowanipore are non-Bengalis.
The municipal polls are scheduled in 2020. Senior TMC party leaders have told the councillors to have a healthy competition among themselves and offer a lead to the TMC candidates fielded for the Lok
Sabha elections from their respective wards.
"This will enable the councillors to have an idea of where they stand in their respective wards," a senior TMC leader said.
Basu, who was elected on BJP's ticket in the 2015 municipal polls, joined TMC just after a few months. He had also campaigned for TMC in a similar manner in Bhowanipore during the Assembly polls in 2016.