April 2, 2014
On the campaign trail with… Bijoy Ch. Barman
Bijoy Chandra Barman is the Registrar of Rabindra Bharati University. He is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the Jalpaiguri Parliamentary Constituency. Trinamool web team joined him in his campaign trail as he mingled with the people in his constituency.
The districts of South Bengal have been reeling under a heat wave for the last few days, but the districts in North Bengal have been spared of the maddening mercury levels. However, the election heat is palpable in the district of Jalpaiguri, where for the first time Trinamool has fielded a candidate for Lok Sabha elections.
Jalpeshwar temple, Maynaguri. 01.04.2014
Bijoy Chandra Barman visited the iconic Jalpeshwar temple in Maynaguri to seek divine blessings before commencing his campaign trail. Accompanied by a sea of humanity, Bijoy babu held road shows at Jalpesh, Maynaguri road and neighbouring places. State Forest Minister Binoy Krishna Barman also held road shows in Dhupguri, which saw a huge turnout of people.
As we followed him to the various campaign destinations, the upbeat mood among the workers was palpable. Bijoy babu was frank. He said that the Congress and the Left have done nothing for the district, which has left the people wishing for more. They wanted change, and Trinamool was the best option.
Bijay Barman during a padyatra
As Bijoy babu finished his padyatra in Jalpesh area, we got down to some sharing of ideas:
Q. What was your first reaction when you came to know about your candidature in Lok Sabha election?
Bijoy babu: My responsibility towards the nation and society has increased. Now I will be working in a more serious manner towards building the nation. I have been working in the past for the upliftment of the society. Now the periphery has increased by manifolds. I am happy that I will be able to work in a bigger arena towards the development of the society.
A workers` meeting at Jalpaiguri Zilla Parishad Hall
Q. This is the first time Trinamool has fielded a candidate from Jalpaiguri in Lok Sabha election. How confident are you in the 4-way fight?
Bijoy babu: Due to the large number of development initiatives by our leader Ms. Mamata Banerjee, the strength of the organization here has increased a lot here. People have been attracted by this developmental wave and have been joining the party in large numbers. Left Front does not have a strong organization anymore. A large number of their workers have joined Trinamool. People are now vocal against the anti-people policies of Congress and the tyranny of the Left. Even though there is a 4-way fight, there is nothing to fear. We are confident of our victory.
Q. What are the major issues of Jalpaiguri that you are highlighting in your campaign?
Bijoy babu: Our Chief Minister has undertaken a number of projects for Jalpaiguri. We had a problem regarding the Circuit Bench of the Calcutta High Court. That is being solved. We had a problem regarding a sports complex. That is being solved. Uttar Kanya, the branch secretariat falls under my constituency. A tourism hub is coming up in Gazoldoba. Schemes have been launched for the tea garden workers, minority community and downtrodden people. If I win, will do more work on these lines.
People throng to Bijay babu`s meeting
Q. What are your campaign strategies? How are you taking Didi`s messages to the people?
Bijoy babu: In our campaign we are highlighting the sad condition of Jalpaiguri district under Left rule. We are focusing on the misrule by the Left Government during the past 34 years. We are trying to inform the people about the developmental wave that has swept the area in the last two and half years by the Trinamool Government.
Our organization here is now a strong one. Our leaders are coordinating with every party worker. Our Chairperson has instructed us to connect with common people and spread the news of the ongoing developmental works, side by side inform about the atrocities of the past Left Government.
Q. With a lot of young voters this time, are you focusing on social media for campaign?
Bijoy babu: We have created a Facebook profile and we are enthused by the response we are receiving. Young generation is attracted towards us. A number of schemes have already been taken up for the young generation. I do not think they got anything from the Left Front in the past years. Now, there is new hope among them.
A rally in support of Bijay Barman
Campaign meeting at Dharmapur Gram Panchayat
After the quick chat session, Bijoy babu hit the roads again. This time the venue was Dharmapur Gram Panchayat. The response from the people was enormous. Everyone was eager to meet the man himself and express their problems. Party workers of the area narrated their woes which included drinking water problem and lack of roads.
Campaign at Bakali
Bijoy babu next moved on to Bakali. Here too the turnout was huge. People said that the production of agricultural products in this region was good, but the farmers lacked a Kisan Mandi. He assured them of action if he is elected. During the door-to-door campaign, one resident of the village requested him to ask the Government to give special status to Kamtapuri language. Bijoy babu also talked about the various schemes by the Government for Rajbagshi people.
Rally at Helapagri
Bijoy babu then walked in a padyatra at Helapagri. Here too, people joined in large numbers. Bijoy babu interacted with the various people at the village haat. Following this he met people and party workers at Saptibari. The campaign for the day came to an end.
Bijay Barman before filing his nominations
On the way back to Jalpaiguri
On his way back to Jalpaiguri, Bijoy babu said that an Election Committee of the Trinamool Congress has been set up for this constituency. The Committee is deciding on the schedule of the campaign, the dates and the respective areas. “When I am visiting a block, I am spending the whole day there. In the morning, I am spending my town in the cities or town and in the afternoon till late in the night, I am campaigning in the blocks. You can say, this is my daily routine.”