The people of Nandigram had never dreamt even in their wildest reveries that they would be able to go to the polling station to cast their votes.
The hamlet that was a witness to murder, arson and violence is now experiencing a new festival on the day of election when they will all go out to select their leader. Election will be held on May 5, the last day of the sixth phase of poll in West Bengal.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has nominated Subhendu Adhikari replacing the candidate Firoza Bibi who had won from this seat by over 43,000 votes in 2011. Adhikari was an MP. While visiting Nandigram and Nayachar in December 2015, Banerjee announced his name as the candidate.
In 2014 Lok Sabha election Aadhikari as a candidate from Tamluk parliamentary seat got 1.29 lakh votes against Ibrahim Ali of Left Front who got 41.735 votes and Congress candidate Anwar Ali who got 3,889 votes. Among the seven constituencies under Tamluk seat Subhendu got highest vote from Nandigram. Statistics show that Congress is virtually nonexistent in the area.
The then state administration had issued a notice to acquire land in Nandigram. Local people resisted and police opened fire killing 14 people on March 14, 2007. The criminals engaged by the CPI(M) had unleashed a reign of terror in the area and resorted to untold torture on the villagers. They took out the villagers and even children and women were not spared and forced them to run. The police opened fire killing them on the spot. Mamata Banerjee took up the issue and began a movement which ultimately led to dislodgement of CPI(M).
Since then, Nandigram is enjoying uninterrupted peace. The schools were under the control of criminals known as “harmads” and they forced children and women to wash their clothes and linen. The villagers were also forced to cook for them.
The children are going to school and various projects taken up by the state government have helped the villagers enormously. They are getting Rs 2 a kg rice along with Kanyashree and Sabuj Sathi. Peace and prosperity are the key words that had kept the flag of TMC fluttering in the area. The confidence of people in administration has been re established.
Subhendu Adhikari is confident of increasing his margin in 2016 polls.” The people are in favour of TMC and will bless me on May 5,” he said. Mamata Banerjee will visit East Midnapore on May 2 and this will help all the contestants and workers to rejuvenate themselves.