Srijan Bhattacharya: CPI(M)’s young face in Singur hopes to revive party’s fortunes

The Singur and Nandigram agitations in 2007-2008 had cost the CPM heavily, and eventually led to the dethroning of the Left regime after 34 years in West Bengal.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has fielded student leader Srijan Bhattacharya from Singur constituency in the West Bengal elections, and the 28-year-old will be taking on two heavyweights – the TMC’s Becharam Manna and the BJP’s Rabindra Nath Bhattacharya.

The Singur and Nandigram agitations in 2007-2008 had cost the CPM heavily, and eventually led to the dethroning of the Left regime after 34 years in West Bengal. The party has been progressively on the decline in the state since then and hopes to revive its fortunes this time by fielding younger faces such as Bhattacharya.

A resident of Haltu in South Kolkata, where the CPM’s organisation continues to be strong, Bhattacharya holds a Master’s in History from Jadavpur University and has been quite active in SFI politics. Known to be calm and affable, Srijan’s campaign has gained a fair bit of traction in Singur.

With the constituency set to vote on April 10, Bhattacharya is busy with last-minute campaigning in the area. He has been covering 10-km daily, even telling some BJP supporters that he can “convince them to vote for the CPI(M)”.

In the elections this year, the CPM has fielded many fresh faces, including candidates such as Meenakshi Mukherjee (Nandigram), Aishe Ghosh (Jamuria) and Dipsita Dhar (Bally), apart from Bhattacharya in Singur, with an aim to attract new youth voters and set up new line of young leadership in the party. “Once upon a time, Gautam Deb, Saifuddin Choudhury and many others became leaders of the party at a very young age and in a very short period of time. Since then, we have not had a young leadership and it has affected our organisation. After a long time, we have a very good line-up of young leaders, and Srijan is prominent among them.”

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