Narayangarh (West Bengal), June 13 (IANS) The humble lentil fritter (“daal bora”) was elevated from an evening snack to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s chosen toast to success at her maiden district rally on Monday after the assembly polls.
The Trinamool Congress supremo fulfilled her vow of visiting Narayangarh in West Midnapore, from where CPI-M state secretary and Left Front-Congress tie-up’s “face” Surjya Kanta Mishra lost in the recent assembly polls.
In an election meeting on April 8, Banerjee had urged the people to defeat Mishra and promised that if the people here kept her word, she would hold her first public meeting after the polls in Narayangarh and relish the area’s famous lentil fritters.
Thousands gathered at the dusty, blue-white decked up marquee in Gobindapur in the block, to watch and listen to Banerjee announce 35 new projects.
“We have come here to express our gratitude and eat daal bora,” said a cheery Banerjee after the slew of announcements.
Claps and cheers went up as she mentioned the local snack made out of a variety of ground lentil with added condiments and usually had with puffed rice and tea in the evenings.
On one side of the dais, a table laden with baskets displaying ‘Banglar Daaler Bora’ (Bengal’s lentil fritters) glistened in silver foil wrappings and blue ribbons.
Four stacks of five baskets each were neatly placed on the table as people behind bamboo barricades eyed them with interest.
“We procured 20 baskets from at least four of the best fritter sellers from the block as well as neighbouring Belda block. Didi has brought this snack into the limelight. Now when people visit West Midnapore they ask for bora,” G. Saha who was in-charge of the baskets told IANS.
Outside the marquee, Belda resident Sushmita Maity struggled to keep pace with the rest as they made their way out.
Maity was weighed down by her eight-year-old daughter, who had a walking disability.
She had hitched a ride with a neighbour in a bus to attend the rally.
“Who would want to miss Didi? We never received so much of attention from any leader before. Hope she likes our bora. They come in different flavours,” Maity said.
Banerjee, as in her previous term, appealed to all sections of society, including the minorities, at the rally.
“I know many have Roza (fasting) and have come from various places. Since they have to break the fast in the evening, we will not delay,” she said.
Reinforcing her commitment to keep her word, Banerjee wrapped up her speech within 30 minutes.
“She respects our traditions and for that I chose to vote for her party,” said Safiqul Alam, a resident of neighbouring Debra in the district, adding he wants to see the district grow in terms of infrastructure.
“If the bora can bring her here again, as she promised, then I think there will be more,” he added.