August 19, 2009


KOLKATA,29th July: There is a populist turn of phrase in Bengali, which applies with great political implication in the electoral line of the bourgeois outfits. The expression is khatay-kalamé and it is a signifier of an act of a promise being put on paper and then casually, expectedly given the go by.

The phrase khatay-kalamé has been of apt reportage utility for us, in describing the slight if high-profile difference of opinion on the score of venal political brokerage par excellence amongst the two Congresses who had unamicably combined as an utilitarian act of convenience, to capture the board of the Uluberia municipality in the district of Howrah in the civic polls of late.

The bugles had been blown. The fanfare was in full flow. The hour had approached for the Trinamul Congress, per khatay-kalamé, to assume charge of the municipal board at Uluberia. Something nasty happened, though, between the cup and the lip.

Cometh the hour, we say, cometh the turn-coat, as far as bourgeois parties are concerned. Without even a voting having to be called for, a clutch of Trinamulis noiselessly went ahead to vote the Pradesh Congress into office. Didi kept a grim silence that spoke a thousand words.

Elsewhere, things related to anti-Communist unity, too, are fading a bit we thought. At the time of filing of this report we observe and admittedly not quite with glum and murk, that the Pradesh Congress has gone ahead and unilaterally announced the names of candidates for the by-elections to the two central Kolkata seats that had fallen vacant with the incumbent MLAs having resigned and become MPs.

The Sealdah seat has always been Somen Mitra’s forté. It has been so whether he was at the helm of affairs of the Pradesh Congress or has deferentially kow-towed to didi and formed a small outfit minus political reckon as a step towards joining the Trinamuli band-wagon. We find it difficult to characterize whose domain the Bowbazar seat belongs though because of the innumerable times Sudip Bandyopadhyay has changed colours between the two Congresses.

At any rate, didi’s men are trying their roughest to cling onto at least the Bowbazar seat, but there is a section which would also angle for the Sealdah seat as well. Watch this space for further developments of toadyism of the querulous kind.

Biman Basu, Bengal Left Front chairman has announced the names of the LF candidates for the by-elections. Prabir Deb of the CPI would contest the Sealdah seat. Minati Gomes, a noted lawyer, is the LF-nominated independent candidate for the Bowbazar seat.

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