Bhabanipur is synonymous with Mamata Banerjee and the political career of the West Bengal chief minister.
It houses her residence at Kalighat and it is her home turf where her political career came to full bloom. The Trinamool Congress supremo is aiming to win from this constituency in Kolkata for a third time in the September 30 by-election, which is crucial for her to remain the CM as she is currently not a member of the legislative assembly.
Banerjee knows the people of this constituency thoroughly. Her overwhelming presence is conspicuous even when her banners and posters are limited. People here call her “our daughter”, and negate the presence of other political parties. She had got elected from here in 2011 and 2016.
For Banerjee, Bhabanipur is as important as Nandigram, which brought her to power in 2011 but from where she lost the election this year. Originally a Congress bastion, former chief minister Sidhartha Shankar Ray of the Congress had won from this constituency in 1957 and 1962. The Congress had retained the seat till 1972. In 2011, Trinamool leader Subrata Bakshi won this seat. But he vacated it for Banerjee, then the railway minister, who won the by-election that followed.Talking to voters here, one can understand how Banerjee is the central theme of the constituency and how she is considered ‘ghorer meye’, the catchword used by the Trinamool Congress — daughter of the constituency and the person who has always stood by the people.
“Bhabanipur is indebted to Mamata Banerjee for everything. Every other household is grateful to her for providing employment to the residents. Roads are clean and pothole-free. All other services are at the doorstep, be it health service or Duare Sarkar,” said Shankar Mitra, a 70-year-old retired government employee. “So, there is people’s love and emotions for her … We have seen her grow up and grow as a politician.”
Mithun Shahu, a non-teaching staff in a government school, said every citizen has benefited from the services provided by Banerjee’s government.Internet Explorer Channel Network