Not only did 149 new faces make it to the Left Front candidate list for the coming West Bengal Assembly polls announced on Sunday by chairman of the State's Left Front Committee Biman Bose, it also boasts many young candidates, several below 30 and nearly 60 of the 292 nominees in the list yet to turn 40.
Himani Hansda (27), perhaps the youngest woman on the list, is the Left Front's nominee from Manbazar in Purulia district, a constituency reserved for scheduled tribes. An elected member of the Panchayat Samiti at Puncha block, she is no greenhorn in politics.
“Ms. Hansda was attracted to Left politics since her student days. Her father is also a senior leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) at the local level and a member of the zonal committee of the party,” Nakul Mahato, Secretary of the District Committee of the CPI(M) told The Hindu over telephone.
For Abhas Roy Choudhury, who is the State Secretary of the CPI(M)'s Democratic Youth Front of India (DYFI), his earliest memories are those of the political turmoil and violence witnessed in the State in the 1970s. Mr. Choudhury remembers that he was five when his father, a supporter of the CPI(M), was injured in a clash with Congress party workers.
“Would you believe it, I was a seven-year-old child, when I first started painting party slogans on walls,” he said, adding that he was attracted to politics at an early age.
Mr. Choudhury, who has been a committed worker of the DYFI over the past decade, has now been nominated from Barabani in Bardhaman district.
However, not all of the Young Turks who have been given the party ticket were inspired by their family members to enter politics.
“While my parents are supporters of the Left Front, none of them were involved in active politics,” said 25-year-old Shatarup Ghosh, who has been nominated from Kasba in the city and is the youngest of the Left Front's candidates.
Mr. Ghosh said that he was always interested in politics, but joined active politics only five years ago when he joined the city's Asutosh College and became a member of the CPI(M)'s student wing in the Students Federation of India (SFI). Mr. Ghosh, who is still pursuing his M.A. from Rabindra Bharati University, is confident of the Left's chances in the coming polls.
While the SFI has been winning college elections across the State, the Left has performed well in other elections. In December, Left-backed candidates swept the elections for primary school councils, Mr. Ghosh said.
Another SFI activist, Anirban Hazra, has been nominated from the Sankrail constituency in Howrah district.
Mr. Hazra is a member of the State Secretariat of the SFI and is also the editor of Chhatra Sangram, the official organ of the body.
Keywords: West Bengal elections