A land bank, a shot in the arm for ailing industries and setting up of new medium and small scale industries in the Bally-Belur-Liluah constituency are a part of the poll agenda for Vaishali Dalmiya—the only daughter of late cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya—who was handpicked by the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to contest the Assembly elections this month.
Vaishali, a single mother who lives in the posh New Alipore area of South Kolkata with her family seems all set for the acid test. “I have spoken to some corporates as well as FIs at the Viswa Bangla summit organised by the Mamata Banerjee Government. Setting up of medium and small industries and resurrecting the plants which have shut down can be done in Liluah. I have already spoken to many women living in the area (some are school drop-outs) and they are also keen to start earning by forming small cooperatives for tailoring, handicrafts, papad and pen making”, Dalmiya told Millennium Post. Her constituency Bally-Belur-Liluah was a “civic nightmare” before the Trinamool Congress Government stepped into power in 2011. “Problems like water logging, frequent power cuts, bad roads were rampant. A lot of work to improve the quality of life has happened here, thanks to the ruling party. But more needs to be done. Belur—which houses the Belur Math—and Liluah have different needs”, said Vaishali, who first ventured into the field of architectural design before she even thought of politics. “My father’s company has done projects like Birla Planetarium, Birla Mandir, Kothari Hospital and even the airport at Maldives. But I had to earn a room of my own and a director’s job in my father’s company by sheer hard work and by proving my mettle. Then I had to look after the Calcutta Leather Complex. My experience as an administrator and handling sales and marketing of my projects will surely help me in politics”, she told Millennium Post. Vaishali Dalmiya got into politics only after her father’s death last year, when West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appeared like “a Godsend” and took care of everything, including her father’s funeral. “I asked Mamata di if I could work with her since she was such a people’s Chief Minister. She’s very approachable, down to earth and humane. To my utter elation she asked me to contest the Assembly election on her party ticket after a couple of months”, Vaishali told Millennium Post. What would Vaishali have been doing if she had not pursued a career in design? “I would have been a veterinary doctor if I had not studied design. That is because I was always good with animals including horses. I still have 7 dogs, ducks, hens, goats, horses and can perform small surgeries. I actually rescued two injured horses from Victoria Memorial vicinity when I was very young”, she smiled. But why didn’t she consider a career in sports? “I take a great interest in cricket. I’ve also played a lot of Kabaddi and table tennis when I was a child. But my father and mother were very protective and they did not encourage me to pursue sports as a profession”, she added.
So does Vaishali also take an interest in national politics? “I have always studied and worked in Bengal. Neither me nor my brother went abroad for studies. Even my son Aditya says that he will stay in Kolkata always”, she smiled. And yes, she is a staunch believer in Lord Kashi Viswanath who has always protected her from trials and tribulations.