KOLKATA: The West Bengal panchayat polls have not just sparked a fierce battle among the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Opposition parties but also triggered a family war.A Trinamool ticket to the younger daughter-in-law of Dhananjay Roy Sarkar, a party loyalist in Alipurduar district, has pitted him and his elder son’s family against her. A furious Dhananjay, who was lobbying with the party for a ticket to his elder daughter-in-law Arpita, has now pitched her as an independent candidate against younger daughter-in-law Tushi for Chaporerpar gram panchayat seat.
What has riled Dhananjay, an ardent Trinamool supporter since its formation in 1998, is that party chose to ignore the loyalty factor while allotting the ticket. While his elder son Bikash and his wife Arpita have been in the party along with him since the beginning, his younger son Ashish was a panchayat samiti member of the CPM and had joined the Trinamool only recently.
Such was Dhananjay’s loyalty for the party that when Ashish joined CPM, he asked him to leave the house. “CPM and TMC can’t live in the same house,” he said. Ashish and his family now stay separately. “Just after Ashish joined TMC, Tushi got the party ticket. I wanted Bikash to get panchayat samiti ticket and Arpita to get the panchayat ticket. But despite being old timers in the party, our demand was ignored,” Dhananjay said. “This decision is not going down well with the party cadres,” Bikash said.
On the other hand, Ashish asserted that his wife deserved the ticket and was confidence about her victory.
West Bengal Chief Minister and party supremo Mamata Banerjee had recently said that if the old timers were dissatisfied, they had to be placated. Alipurduar MLA Sourav Chakraborty said, “The Roy Sarkar family has been associated with TMC for long, but we cannot give tickets to two persons in the same family. Dhananjay babu is an old timer and we will try to convince him.”For now, though, the bad blood over party ticket has spilled over to personal relations.