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From 1 to 24, Mamata's Army will take on Left now

Last updated on: May 18, 2009 13:17 IST
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Trinamool Congress (TC) chief Mamata Banerjee is preparing to unleash her brigade of 19 members against the much-depleted Left squad of 24 in the 15th Lok Sabha. Trinamool, the main opposition in West Bengal, will showcase a mixed bag of seasoned politicians, doctors, lawyers and former police officers as its newly-elected members in the 15th Lok Sabha.

But much attention will be on three new members who came from a entirely different background. A popular singer, Kabir Suman, and two actors of Tollywood fame, Tapas Pal and Shatabdi Roy, will definitely be the star attraction of the Trinamool contingent. Both Suman and Roy are new to politics, though in the last two years — ever since unrest broke out in Nandigram and Singur -- they became supportive of Mamata's movement. Suman is a multidimensional character.

He has had varied experience in the media, worked in Deuscheville and Voice of America for long tenure, fluent in English, German, and a bit of Spanish. But it was his songs that made him hugely popular among the youth in Bengal. Suman, who is also known for his vitriolic attacks on the Left, feels that as an MP he would like to raise certain issues which are close to his heart.

Unlike Suman, Roy and Paul are completely unknown quantity. Paul had been elected to the state assembly more than once but he was never actively present there.

Ratna Nag is not new to politics either, so are Sultan Ahmed and Govinda Naskar, both former MLAs. Besides, C M Jatua, Kakali Ghosh Dastidar, Hazi Nurul Islam, Sucharu Haldar are new to parliamentary politics.

But the real fireworks for the Left will come from three main members of the TC -- Sisir and Shubhendu Adhikari, the father-son duo of Nandigram fame, and Kalyan Banerjee, the lawyer who fought the Singur case against the government.

During election campaign, Kalyan Banerjee stongly criticised the chief minister calling him a 'congenital liar' and drew the censor of the Election Commission onto himself. Knowing his traits, it is assumed that once Banerjee enters the Lok Sabha, he will not give the Left any respite. He is expected to be supported by Shubhendu and Sisir in the Left-bashing.

However, on the more serious political level, the Left will have to face attacks from seasoned politicians like Sougata Roy, Sudip Banerjee and Dinesh Trivedi. A former Union minister in the 1970s, Sougata is a skilled parliamentarian and known for his subtle but barbed attack on the Left.

In the last Lok Sabha, Mamata Banerjee was alone in her fight against the Left's 61 members. Though the Trinamool chief did not attend much of the sessions last time, her 19 members are now certain to create enough dins to make up for the last time.


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