Kolkata, April 25 (IANS) He couldn’t vote for himself as he is in jail, but Trinamool Congress heavyweight Madan Mitra’s campaign was handled by his family in his constituency Kamarhati in North 24 Parganas which went to the polls on Monday.
Kamarhati and 48 other constituencies were part of the fourth phase of the West Bengal assembly polls.
Arrested by the CBI in December 2014 for his alleged complicity in the multi-crore-rupee Saradha chit fund scam, Mitra, a former state transport and sports minister, is the second high profile candidate from the state to contest the polls from behind bars.
Maoist leader Santosh Rana had contested as an independent and won from Gopiballavpur in West Midnapore district in the 1977 assembly poll from behind bars.
Currently lodged in the Alipore jail, Mitra canvassed through his family with son Subharup Mitra playing a crucial role.
“I have not met him over the past 3-4 days. The last time we met, he told me to ensure that our voters cast their votes. He also said we must ensure a good turnout,” said Subharup, who along with his mother Archana, elder brother Swarup and siter-in-law Swati led the campaign for the jailed Mitra.
Beginning the polling day by offering puja at the famous Dakshineswar temple, which is part of the constituency, Subharup took charge in his father’s ‘election control room’ sending out commands to Trinamool activists from time to time.
“He was not present in the constituency physically, but for the people, it’s the development work that has been done by the Trinamool that matters,” added Subharup, who always attends Mitra’s court appearances.
Mitra has been behind bars since his arrest on December 12, 2014, barring a brief period in October 2015 when he was granted bail by a lower court.
The relief subsequently was cancelled by the Calcutta High Court.
He had won from the constituency in 2011 by over 24,000 votes.