MALDA: With election fervour running intense in West Bengal, Malda district gears up for the third phase of the ensuing Lok Sabha elections with a battle between the `first cousins` of a veteran political family.
Isha Khan, son of Congress stalwart Abul Hasan Choudhury, will be contesting against his first cousin Mausam Noor who is a sitting MP from Malda North. Mausam Noor won the MP seat under the Congress banner.
In 2008, she defeated her rival Haji Ketabuddin of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) by a margin of 21,205 votes. Later, she was elected as Lok Sabha MP from Malda North parliamentary constituency. She also became the youngest Muslim woman to be elected to the 15th Lok Sabha.
But, she joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the name of development this January.Senior Congress leader Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury and brother of Ghani expressed discontent about his sister`s daughter (Mausam Noor) joining Trinamool.
"This is unfortunate as our family is known as the pillar of Congress. It is sad that somebody leaves Congress and joins another party," he said. He added that the people of Bengal are "frustrated and confused" with the leadership. They do not know whom to vote.
"Malda district has Congress bastion from the time after Ghani Khan served as a Minister of Railway under former prime ministers-- Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandhi," he said.
Congress candidate of Malda North constituency Isha Khan Choudhury, who is confident of his winning, said: "Mausam Noor joined the TMC in the name of development, however very little development has taken place in Malda North under the TMC."
"During Panchayat elections, criminality was fully supported by the administration and the ruling government. Now, nobody is ready to suffer again like Panchayat elections," he said while targeting Mausam.
Sreerupa Mitra Choudhury from the BJP is contesting against Abu Hasem from Malda South. She joined the BJP in 2015 after quitting from the TMC.This time it has been observed that as the Left Front is supporting Congress, the party has not proposed any candidate from Malda South.
Malda district comprising of two Lok Sabha constituencies Malda South and Malda North will go for polling on April 23.