Royalty to Rock Bottom: Why the Congress Has Much in Common With Nimtita Rajbari in Murshidabad

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Nimtita Rajbari is a palatial bungalow in Murshidabad, as soon as the cradle of royalty in Bengal. It was constructed by highly effective zamindar Dwarikanath Choudhury in 1866 and rose to change into the cultural competitor of Kolkata underneath his son Mahendra Narayan who additionally established a ‘Hindu Theatre’ close to the opulent construction.

Treachery of time and the rising Ganga washed away the ‘Hindu Theatre’ together with a lot of the Rajbari’s grandeur in Nineteen Forties and 50s. Having misplaced zamindari in 1955, the Choudhurys’ curiosity within the property too pale over time. Satyajit Ray’s 1958 movie Jalsaghar completely chronicled the highs and lows of the Rajbari. Filmed on location, it even confirmed the zamindar immersed in music and humanities as an alternative of saving his flood-hit properties.

The dilapidated construction stands until date, struggling to remind onlookers of its golden days. Not too far-off, one other Chowdhury is determined to deliver again the golden days of a distinct entity that has misplaced its sheen in Murshidabad. But it’s simpler mentioned than performed for Congress’ Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as two seats in Murshidabad — Samserganj and Jangipur — head to bypolls together with Bhabanipur on September 30.

The Congress doesn’t have a candidate in any of those seats. It has struggled to get one in Samserganj, is supporting Left Front candidate in Jangipur and has bowed out of Bhabanipur as a ‘courtesy’ to Mamata Banerjee who’s contesting from there.

Jakir Hossain is the Trinamool Congress candidate in Jangipur, whereas Amirul Islam is contesting because the get together’s candidate from Samserganj. The BJP has fielded Sujit Das in Jangipur, and Milan Ghosh in Samserganj.

Speaking to News18.com, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress Parliamentary Party chief within the Lok Sabha, blamed “BJP’s communal politics” for the Congress waning grip in Murshidabad. “I belong to a framework of secular politics. We became the victim of sharp polarisation in Bengal. We are suffering from the current political circumstances in a society which has been polarised. I belong to a place (Murshidabad) that has 70% Muslims. The Congress party is not fading. What happened was… after the ‘communal campaigning’ by the BJP and Narendra Modi in recently concluded Assembly elections, Muslims thought to vote for Mamata,” he mentioned.

“Actually, Muslims voted to defeat Narendra Modi, not to secure Mamata Banerjee’s win. The last nail in the coffin was firing at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar where four Muslims were killed. This was enough to consolidate the Muslim votes against the BJP and it caused irreparable damage in Bengal’s politics when it comes to Congress party. Mamata Banerjee became the incidental beneficiary of the situation,” Chowdhury added.

Asked why the Congress was not fielding a candidate in Samserganj, a Congress stronghold, Chowdhury mentioned, “We wanted to field Jainur Rahman from the seat, but he is unwilling to contest. The reason is his brother Khalilur Rahman is a Trinamool Congress MP (from Jangipur). In Samserganj, we have a good prospect of winning. We are trying to convince him… let’s see.”

Jainur is the dual of TMC MP and Jangipur organisation district president Khalilur Rahman. Both Jainul and Khalilur run the household bidi enterprise.

ELECTORAL HISTORY

The Samserganj Assembly constituency lies in Murshidabad and is a part of the Malda South Lok Sabha constituency. In 2016, Samserganj had a complete of 1,94,128 registered electors, and in 2021, the determine went as much as 2,37,389 voters. A complete of 285 cubicles will obtain voters. The constituency is manufactured from 81% Muslims and 18% Hindus.

In 2016, the voter turnout in Samserganj was recorded at 81.92 %. CPM’s Touab Ali had misplaced to Trinamool Congress’ Amirul Islam by a slender margin of 1,780 votes.

The Jangipur Assembly constituency additionally lies in Murshidabad district and is part of the Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency. In 2016, Jangipur had a complete of two,14,445 registered electors. In 2021, it has 2,55,998 voters, together with 1,25,822 ladies. The voter turnout in 2016 was recorded at 83.82%. The Jangipur voters is split into 57% Muslims and 43% Hindus.

In 2016, CPM candidate Somnath Singha Ray had misplaced to Trinamool Congress nominee Jakir Hossain by 20,000 votes.

VOLATILE CONTEST

Speaking to News18, BJP candidate from Samserganj Milan Ghosh says the Congress’ destiny mirrors that of the Nimtita Rajbari.

“Nimtita Rajbari falls under my constituency. It was once famous for its musical events. Now the Rajbari and the Hindu Theatre have become history. The Congress’ condition is similar nowadays. They surrendered before the ruling TMC. The problems people used to face during the golden period of Rajbari still exist. Earlier, it was the ruler, then came the Congress, then the Left and now the TMC is exploiting the people,” Ghosh mentioned.

“This constituency is the most backward area in Bengal. Nearly 60% people are beedi workers and a few are farmers. The ruling party workers are exploiting them by paying maximum Rs 150 for rolling 1,000 beedis. There are no jobs here so most people have migrated to other states. Majority of the voters here are Muslims and face a lot of hardships,” he added.

Invoking Syama Prasad Mukherjee, the founding father of BJP’s predecessor Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Ghosh mentioned voters in Samserganj must be grateful that Mukherjee stopped plans to provide the realm together with Dhuliyan to East Pakistan.

BJP candidate in Jangipur, Sujit Das, mentioned the anti-infiltration sentiment will assist his half within the bypolls. “The chances of BJP winning the bypoll from this seat are high. There are nearly 43% Hindu voters here and they are against illegal infiltration. Most of them are supporters of the BJP and are against TMC’s appeasement politics.”

Hitting again, his TMC rival Jakir Hossain mentioned BJP candidates would find yourself shedding their deposits. “During Covid-19 lockdown, I served people irrespective of their caste and creed. The BJP believes in playing communal card but I am a secular person and I believe in serving people under the guidance of Mamata Banerjee. We are certainly going to win both the seats.”

Polling in all three seats will happen on September 30 and counting of votes will probably be held on October 3.

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