Kolkata: He contested his first election in 1977 and lost. Since then the indefatigable Biplab Mitra has tried unsuccessfully five more times, earning him the nickname "haru Mitra". But the Trinamool Congress candidate is not giving up.
Mitra, the son of a freedom fighter, has contested four assembly polls and two for the Lok Sabha. He hopes that the 2011 West Bengal assembly polls will be his lucky charm - especially when his party has a golden chance of winning this time.
He is contesting from the Harirampur assembly constituency in Dakshin Dinajpur district.
He first stood from the Gangarampur assembly constituency in the same district in 1977 as an independent candidate. He did not win but the historic elections that year scripted the 34 years of uninterrupted rule of the Left Front in West Bengal.
Mitra went on to fight assembly elections from the same constituency in 1991 as a Congress candidate and in 2001 and 2006 as a Trinamool nominee but lost to the Left Front by huge margins.
"I didn't lose the elections, but was made to lose. I won't say who did this sabotage, but I am sure that there was sabotage. But I want to say one thing, till I win an assembly seat I won't sit in peace," Mitra, the assistant state secretary of the Trinamool Congress, told IANS over phone.
With a never-say-die spirit, Mitra jumped into the Lok Sabha poll fray in 1999 as a Trinamool candidate from Raiganj but was trounced by Congress heavyweight Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi. Mitra again lost in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
"I lost the Lok Sabha polls in 2009, but I had taken a handsome lead in the Harirampur assembly constituency. So I am confident of winning from Harirampur (also Dakshin Dinajpur district) this time," said Mitra, 57.
A string of defeats has earned him a nickname -- 'haru Mitra' (loser Mitra).
"It is not that I have only lost elections, I have also won elections such as to the zila parishad once and Gangarampur municipality once," said Mitra, who is an alliance candidate of the Trinamool and the Congress. He is pitted against Left Front heavyweight and state minister Narayan Biswas.
The state will hold polls to the 294 assembly seats during April 18-May 10.