March 26, 2009


KOLKATA(INN): LF-supported Forward Bloc candidate for Barasat in north 24 Parganas and noted educationist Sudin Chattopadhyay was taken aback when he saw a rush of hooligans onto the stage. The occasion (on 18 March) was a ‘live’ TV show put up at Barasat where the organisers / TV channel owners wanted Prof Chattopadhyay to enter into a debate with the Trinamul candidate from the Barasat seat.

As the debate progressed it was clear that Prof Chattopadhyay was gradually gaining an upper hand despite his low-key, polite, and soft style of speaking vis-à-vis the Mamata banerjee-like aggression and fire-and-brimstone kind of approach by his woman rival candidate who has had to swallow defeats every time she had run for the polls, be it the assembly or the Lok Sabha. She had once run against Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee from Jadavpur and had her ego bruised by the thumping margin of the former’s win. Her frustration came through rather easily this time around, if in a menacing manner, as Prof Chattopadhyay was soon to find out.

The organisers had managed to stash away a large ‘cache’ of drunken Trinamul Congress supporters around the open air space from where the show was telecast. Each round of question-and-answer session saw the Trinamuli candidate get the worse of the exchanges in terms of facts as well as argumentation. She kept becoming angrier as the FB candidate never strayed off the cool and the laid-back attitude he is quite well-known for, apart from his great debating skill.

The last straw was reached when the Trinamul candidate started to hurl abuses on the professor, and the Trinamuli goons, perhaps sensing that that was the signal, came rushing up the stage, swept past a sniggering presenter, and jostled with Sudin Chattopadhyay, beating him up with fists and worse.

The latter fell down bleeding and had to be removed to hospital after the local people had to intervene and stop the hooliganism. In hospital, the doctors realised that professor Chattopadhyay had suffered from at least one broken rib plus innumerable bruises on his face and body, and must be rested for some days before venturing out on the campaign trail. The Trinamulis had better come to grips with the fact that this show of terrorism would lose and not win them votes in a seat where the LF and the FB had always prevailed, whoever the rival has been.

No comments: