Subhashini Ali vs Dinesh Trivedi: Insider, Outsider Debate Rocks Barrackpore

Subhashini Ali had last won a Lok Sabha election from Kanpur in 1989.

Barrackpore: The big debate in the Barrackpore constituency in West Bengal which goes to the polls on May 12 is insider versus outsider.

The incumbent Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi says his rival, CPM's Subhasini Ali is an outsider. She was a CPM MP in Kanpur in 1989.

"Somebody not even from Bengal, and coming from Kanpur, and had no connectivity, forget about Barrackpore, with Bengal also. I'm sure people don't appreciate those things.  So they say that if you are such a big leader, you should have contested from Kanpur, why did you leave your constituency," argues the Trinamool candidate.

But the "outsider" tag is something that bothers Subhashini Ali, who has been pitchforked to Barrackpore to reclaim it from Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress. Tarit Baran Topdar of the CPM had been winning the seat without a break since 1989, before Mr Trivedi wrested it in 2009.

"I think that the word, outsider, should not be used in India because nobody is an outsider. We all have the constitutional rights to fight elections anywhere. The word should not be bandied about. Look at what happened to people from the north east in Delhi or Biharis in Maharashtra" retorts Ms Ali.

In her campaign, the CPM candidate has been focusing on development, or the lack of it, in Barrackpore. She refers to closed factories, and the growing unemployment, to pin her rival down. "He made very wild promises that he would reopen all the factories and set up new industries. And he was not able to actually make good on anything," alleges Ms Ali.

Mr Trivedi, however, refuses to take things lying down. "Unfortunately for Ms Ali, she has the reputation of closing all the factories in Kanpur, and they know about it," the Trinamool MP counters.

The entry of BJP and Congress candidates has converted the contest into a four-cornered one. Most people feel they will cut into the votes of the two established parties, but can't predict who will be hurt more.

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