The phrase “Lal – BARI kar?” in English means the “Who can capture the Red Building”. The Red Building signifies the Writers Building of Kolkata, which is the office of the ruling party of the state and the head office of the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
Yes, it is Election time in West Bengal. This time Election is being held under strict vigil by the parliamentary forces. Reason behind the 5 phases is allegations by the opponent parties that the other party is rigging (casting false votes maliciously) away.
On Thursday we had the third phase election here in Kolkata and the 2 Parganas ( North & South ). There are 3 major parties fighting the elections in West Bengal. The CPM and its allies, the Trinamool Congress and the National Congress. CPM is headed by Mr. Buddhadev Bhattacharjee, the magic man behind Bengal’s recent progress. The Trinamool is being headed by the one and only Didi of Kolkata’s politics – Mamata Banerjee. The National Congress is being headed by Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, India’s current defense minister.
The results are scheduled to be on 11th of May 2006. I am eagerly waiting for the results as I had caste my vote this time, which is the third time till date. My constituency is a National Congress majority area headed by Chorda (2nd elder brother) of his constituency, Mr. Somendranath Mitra popularly known as Somen Mitra or Somen-da.
It is difficult for any other party heavyweight to defeat him in this constituency, because Somen-da is winning in this area for many years and can defeat anyone, anyday here with a large margin of votes.
In this Assembly elections, whoever gets elected from his/her constituency gets a title MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) status and gets an opportunity to sit in the Assembly for the next 5 long years along with every other facilities.
Somen-da’s rival in this area is a CPI candidate called Prabir Ray. He might not win this time but has a great chance of drawing large number of votes. He is a man of left ideology and has been able to draw many votes like me, because of the charisma of our currently Chief Minister, Buddha-babu and his development in sectors like agriculture, IT, telecommunications, and so on in WB.
On the election day, as usual I went for voting on 7.00am along with my daddy and my sister(who is a first time voter this year) to the underdeveloped school called Swamiji Vidyapith where the dirty benches, tables, walls, doors, windows, made me cry with pain. Pungent smell that came out from the narrow corridors made me cover my nose with my hanky. By the pictures hanging from the wall one can make out that since India’s Independence, no development work has taken place in this school as the pictures showed the images of people of old times wearing dhoti and panjabi in those black&white pictures whose faces cannot be made out. The only recent picture I saw was of Lokenath-baba on the almirah.
There was a long queue and we had to wait for 1 hour to get the opportunity to vote. It was a pathetic experience with the sun facing towards us, as we had to stand in the queue facing towards the east. As we had passed that zone we had to stand in the narrow lanes of the school, and then the narrow corridors and rooms of the school building, without fans or light.
As the voting process was being delayed by people without proper voter id cards or proper identification document, people including me shouted at the polling officer to drive such people away who unnecessarily cause delay to the process.
At last my turn came and I had to call out my serial number to the officials who saw my voter I-card and allowed me to sign on their register where I saw only fingerprints rather than signatures. There were only 2 signatures and rest 18 was fingerprints. This made me get furious on the education system of our state. Then I had to get my 1st finger on my left hand marked by the strongest ink so that I cannot vote a second time in this poll. That mark is still in my hand, which is sure not to face within next 10 days.
Then I pressed the 2nd button and came out of the poll booth to wait for my sister to come. Then my daddy came out. Together we returned home. I was very much excited about the exit poll results and switched on our Television to watch Star Ananda, 24X7, Akash Bangla, Kolkata TV and many other channels which showed the exit poll results.
Till that evening I saw that in the exit polls CPM is winning by a single majority in most of the constituencies, followed by TMC with few seats and at last was INC. But that I could not spend much time with the television since on the next day I had two Exams. So I had to prepare for it. Therefore I started concentrating in my studies and put behind all my thoughts of polls till the 11th of May when the poll results of West Bengal Assembly Elections are going to be declared. Till then, I keep my fingers crossed about the outcome of the polls.