KOLKATA: Former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya's daughter Vaishali, who is fighting West Bengal Assembly polls on a Trinamool Congress ticket, says she wants to carry the rich legacy of her father in public life.
"Many people know me because of my father. And since I belong to the family so they trust me more. I have inherited the legacy of my father and will take it forward in public life," Dalmiya told PTI.
The 47-year-old, active in social work since an early age, is contesting from Bally constituency in neighbouring Howrah district.
She admits her late father's name is a big plus point for her in the electoral battlefield.
Dalmiya, who died last year at the age of 75, inevitably figures in her conversations as she carries out a door-to-door campaign to meet voters.
"Some would say they knew him. Others admired him for his administrative skills. Sports is a common passion among people here," she says, claiming that her friend and former Team India skipper Sourav Ganguly will campaign for her ahead of polling on April 25 in the fourth phase.
"We are planning a football match where he will be present and campaign for me," she says explaining how sports has become a campaign tool for her.
So far, the 47-year-old single mother has been taking care of their family business in the construction industry and running NGO 'Mission Ullas' to help rural and downtrodden people. She had also produced a Bengali film some years back.
"I am known as a businesswoman as well as a social worker. Now I am just adding a new dimension of politics into it," she says, adding that she is making good use of her marketing skills she learnt with her father in business.
So what brought her to politics despite running a successful business?
"I wanted to extend my social work on a bigger scale now and so one day I went to our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee saying that I want to contribute to the good work you are doing in the state. And then she made me a candidate," recalls the Trinamool leader who now makes a daily trip from her bungalow in posh Alipore to the dingy bylanes of suburban Bally.
"Kagaz, kalam, kali. Tin niye Bally" (Paper, pen, ink. These three make Bally) - so goes an old proverb about the constituency. Over the years things have changed as Bally is now a small-scale business hub and has a mix of migrant non-Bengali settlements.
Another USP which Dalmiya has is that her mother is a Bengali while her celebrity father was a 'Marwari'.
"So both Hindi speaking people and Bengali speaking people in the constituency can relate to me as someone of their own. I have a background in sports, business as well as social work. All this will weigh in my favour," she says.
Asked if she had to fight the outsider tag as she was a greenhorn in the world of politics, Dalmiya replied, "Not at all. After my candidature was announced, 3,000 people from Bally came to see my at my office on TheatreRoad, in South Kolkata," she says.
Sitting party MLA and former IPS Sultan Singh, who won the seat in 2011 by a margin of over 6,000 votes, has apparently decided not to contest this time.
BJP has fielded actor Kaushik Chakraborty while CPI(M) has put up party leader Anjan Bera as the candidate.