Raidighi: CPI(M) leader Kanti Ganguly is a name to reckon with in the hamlets of the Sundarban area at Raidighi. The president of National platform for rights of the disabled (NPRD) has been drawing huge crowds displaying support as he is credited for increased connectivity and better roads for the people from Sundarbans. Ganguly is also known for his contribution to the massive relief work in the aftermath of cyclones like Aila and Amphan.
The CPI(M) leader is contesting the West Bengal Assembly elections against BJP’s Santanu Bapuli and TMC’s Dr Alok Jaldata. The polling in his constituency will be held on April 6.
CPI(M) leader Kanti Ganguly in Raidighi
When this NewsClick reporter met with Ganguly, he was campaigning in the Khari area of Raidighi. “Even though aggressive polarisation tactics have been employed to divide people along the communal lines here by the TMC and BJP, we will win this time,” he told NewsClick. Sporting a red cap, the octogenarian leader braved the scorching sun and moved around the bylanes of the Khari village area.
Md Israfil and Md Sabir -- senior leaders who are accompanying Ganguly on the campaign trail -- said that BJP candidate Bapuli’s reputation is quite different from that of his father, Satya Bapuli, who was a renowned Congress leader from the region. “There is no doubt that the CPI(M) is the ultimate choice of the people here. You can see the popularity with these red flags and graffiti around here, but the terror of the BJP and TMC is such that in certain mohallas, our flags have not been allowed. Nonetheless, Ganguly’s popularity is quite visible from the crowd that he manages to gather wherever he goes,” they said.
According to them, the fight in Raidighi is helping the CPI(M) and its candidates in nearby Assembly segments of Joynagar, Diamondharbour and Mathurapur.
In most of the villages of Raidighi, fluttering red flags and poll graffiti addressing Kanti Ganguly fondly as ‘Kanti Da’ is visible. “Can you think of a reason to not vote for him?” asked Asma Bibi from the Khari area. “Even if we face an issue in Kolkata or in any other city when we go there for work, we inform Kanti Ganguly who then does more than 100% to help the people,” she added.
“Even during natural calamities or during the lockdown it was Kanti Ganguly who first helped the Raidighi residents with food, medicines, and daily requirements. Ganguly was minister in-charge of Sunderbans development in the state’s Left Front government, and was given the portfolio of sports and youth welfare in 2009. Ganguly was elected to the state Assembly in 2001 and 2006 from Mathurapur.