Relatively speaking, it's a family affair in WB elections

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Old 05-May-2011
Relatively speaking, it's a family affair in WB elections

Kolkata: With sons, daughters-in-law and other relatives in the running, West Bengal's assembly elections appear to have become a family affair, to a great extent.

Many young family members of the state's politicians are in the fray. Some have already faced the electoral battle.

Almost all are banking on traditional supporters and the influence of their kin to see them through.

Fuad Halim, son of West Bengal's long-time assembly Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim, was the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) candidate from Ballygunge in South Kolkata. He took on senior Trinamool Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee.

A student activist of 1989, the young man said: "Intense poverty in the country and sky-rocketing prices of essential commodities led me to contest the election."

Veteran's son

He admits that being the son of a veteran politician is a big advantage.

Sitting legislator Dibyendu Adhikari, son of Union Minister of State for Rural Development Sisir Adhikari and brother of Trinamool Congress MP Subhendu Adhikari, was pitted in Kanthi Dakshin in East Midnapore against Uttam Kumar Pradhan of the Communist Party of India (CPI).

"In the last 34 years, the Left Front did nothing for the people. If I win, I will take steps to revise the BPL [below poverty line] list in my constituency," Adhikari said.

"It is obviously an advantage to contest an election as a minister's son. My father and brother have controlled the area."

Another Trinamool candidate, Shashi Panja, daughter-in-law of late union minister Ajit Panja, took on Jiban Saha of Forward Bloc in Shyampukur in Kolkata.

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