Chaiwala hopes to make it big in Bengal polls

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Kolkata, May 13 (IANS) Babusona Sarkar, 27, from West Bengal, in the running for the state assembly polls is a tea seller. However, any comparisons with Prime Minister Narendra Modi a la the chaiwala are simply brushed aside.

“I am not comparing myself to him. I am myself,” Sarkar told a television channel when asked if he is another Modi in the making.

Sarkar is contesting as a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) candidate from Ranaghat Uttar Purba constituency in Nadia district and is the only son of chaiwala parents.

The youngest contestant in the polls, he takes care of the small tea shop at the railway station platform at Aranghata around 9 km from Ranaghat.

According to a CPI-M webpage, “Introduction to Left politics began only when Babusona became associated with the Students Federation of India (SFI) in Ranaghat College in 2006. Through his practice to voice the demands of the common students in the college, he emerged as an activist and gradually acquired the rare qualities of leading the student movement.”

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With Rs.700 in his bank account and Rs.93,000 in assets, the Bengali literature postgraduate says his campaign was funded by sympathisers and supporters.

“I have not spent anything from my pocket,” he said while serving piping hot tea to locals.

His mother is superstitious of speaking about her son’s prospects as a potential legislator lest her own pride “becomes an omen”.

“If he is successful then I know my life has been meaningful,” his father said.

The six-phase West Bengal elections began on April 4 and concluded on May 5. The results will be declared on May 19.



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