Though a section of media is backing him and projecting him as the hero of the alliance who will play a major role in establishing democracy in West Bengal, Sujan Chakraborty’s dubious track record has come in the way and is likely to make his dream a distant one.
The people in Jadavpur still remember the reign of terror unleashed by party comrades in vast areas. Militant trade union movement by the Left had forced the owners like Sulekha and Krishna Glass to close their factories.
Their owners were heckled by the workers who got impetus from the CPI(M) leaders. The workers became beggars on the street while the owners became richer. This was the story of Jadavpur in the early 1980s.
After Independence thousands of refugees from East Pakistan came and settled in the area. Taking advantage of their helplessness, the Communist Party made inroads and were successful in brainwashing them.
One after another the colonies came up. Jadavpur, Ramgarh, Baghajatin, Garia became colonies and CPI(M) majority of the voters had backed CPI(M) whose undisputed leaders were Sachin Sen, Prasanta Sur and Manoj Pratim Chowdhury. Aiming to take control over Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), CPI(M) had brought Jadavpur, Garden Reach and Behala popularly known as the added areas under KMC just to have control over it.
From 1990 onwards, Jadavpur saw another change. High-rise buildings started coming up on land of closed factories and by filling up water bodies.
Within 10 years the stretch from Jadavpur University to Garia became a concrete jungle and people from outside came and started staying in the area. The original inhabitants left the place and the comrades also gave up their proletariat garb and became businessmen. Their control over the area also loosened.
The people in Jadavpur still remember the arrogance of Chakraborty and his two associated Kokhan Ghoshdastidar and his wife Chandana. Kokhan was a close associate of Kanti Ganguly.
It is alleged that in every new investment in Jadavpur be a new factory or a new construction, Kokhan had a pie. From family matters to buying a new flat, the local committee was the last word.
With this backdrop, the 2016 election will be fought. In 2011, Manish Gupta defeated Buddhadeb Bhattacharya by 16, 684 votes. In 2014, Lok Sabha polls, Left Front were 308 votes ahead of Trinamool Congress. But BJP candidate Swarup Prasad Ghosh got 31,015 votes. BJP will not be able to retain this vote and a chunk percentage will come to TMC and not to CPI(M).
Also, because of the alliance, many Congress and CPIM workers has taken themselves away from election. On the whole Chakraborty is facing a tough fight. To boost up cadres, a road show was held on Tuesday where Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee took part.
People in the area have decided who to vote.” What do you think? Why should we vote for a man who in the guise of democracy is actually trying to bring back muscle power and hooliganism,” said a veteran resident of Jadavpur.