April 5, 2014
On the campaign trail with… Pratima Mandal (Naskar)
Pratima Mandal (Naskar) is a WBCS officer who served the Bengal Government as an Assistant Registrar of Cooperative Society and was the CEO, Bidhannagar Wholesale Consumers Cooperative Society Ltd. before she resigned to take the electoral plunge. She has immense knowledge of rural Bengal, thanks to her job experience. Contesting from Joynagar constituency, she hopes to carry on the developmental agenda of Mamata Banerjee.
Trinamool web team joined her on her the campaign trail on March 31, 2014 at Canning-II block.
1 PM – Bhawanipore
Pratima Mandal (Naskar), the Trinamool candidate for Joynagar leaves for her constituency for campaigning braving the heat and the humidity. The temperature is 37.8 degrees but that cannot beat her spirit as thousands of supporters have gathered for a meeting at Chandaneswar.
2.30 PM – Bhangar area, South 24 Parganas
The road to Ghatakpukur is decorated with party flags on both sides. People recognize their prospective candidate and wave at her. Incidentally, the nearest railway station is at Sonarpur. The UPA II Government had stalled the proposition of extending the railway line till Ghutiari Sharif, which could have made the journey much easier.
3.10 PM – Chandaneswar, Canning II, Joynagar Constituency
The historical Chandaneswar High School Ground is buzzing with activity. People are geared up for the workers` meeting. It was here that the then Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress Chairperson Ms. Mamata Banerjee staged a sit-in demonstration on July 31, 2009 to protest against the delay in post-mortem report of party worker Sarbar Khan Chowdhury.
Renowned singer Kalyan Das who had earlier produced the album Maa Mati Manusher Jonno, enthralls the audience with his compositions.
The District President of South 24 Parganas and Mayor of Kolkata, Mr Sovan Chatterjee shares the stage with other leaders and dignitaries, which includes the sitting MP from Bongaon Gobindo Naskar and other local leaders.
5.00 PM – Chandaneswar High School Ground, Canning II, Joynagar Constituency
What was supposed to be a workers` meeting has now taken the shape of a mass meeting. There is not enough space to accommodate everyone. Even the adjoining roads have thousands of supporters listening to the leaders. The turnout is approximately 10000, if not more.
Pratima di says that she will stick to the vision of the Trinamool Government for the development of the region. Pratima di is greeted by the thousands as she rises to speak. She said she strongly believed that “Jibe prem kore jei jon, sei jon sebiche Iswar“, adding that it was her duty to serve people and reach out to Iswar or Allah, whichever faith the people gathered believed in.
She said that Ms. Mamata Banerjee was working tirelessly and her focus is only the betterment of people. People of Bengal as well as Canning East have faith on Mamata Banerjee, she said and asked the people to shower their blessings on her as she represented Didi.
5.30 PM – Chandaneswar High School Ground, Canning II, Joynagar Constituency
The State President of Trinamool Congress Mr. Subrata Bakshi takes the stage. The Trinamool State President laid down a no-nonsense guideline to the party workers on how to carry out the campaign. He pointed out that the Trinamool Government has been instrumental in bringing peace in Bengal, especially in Jangalmahal. He said that the forthcoming election is for upholding the honour of people of Bengal among other things. He urged the gathered audience to show their support to the party in ballot boxes, as they had done in the past elections.
6.00 PM – Canning II, Joynagar Constituency
Speaking to the Trinamool web team, Pratima di said that Didi has a total plan for the development of the constituency. “I am going to work on the model set. There is lots of work to be done and many are already on process,” she said.
The ex-WBCS officer, who already has an enormous experience in administration, said that the protection of the environment in Sunderbans was among her top agendas. There are embankments to be created to keep away the flood waters, several arsenic-free drinking water projects for the areas, she observed. She pointed out the need of more ambulances for the people living in interior areas.
6.15 PM – Canning II, Joynagar Constituency
Around 100 political workers affiliated to CPI(M), from Durgapur-Rajpur, Bhangar areas join Trinamool Congress in presence of the State President Mr. Subrata Bakshi and other leaders. The venue erupts with the slogans Trinamool Congress Zindabad and Mamata Banerjee Zindabad.
Pratima di with the district Trinamool Leadership
6.35 PM – Chandaneswar High School Ground, Canning II, Joynagar Constituency
The campaign for the day comes to an end with a strategy meeting. Bakshi da lays specific guidelines to local leadership. Pratima di gives her inputs which are noted down. Everyone vows to plunge into the campaign mode with renewed enthusiasm from the next day.
Pratima di delivers her speech at Chandaneswar