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Why poll strategist PK’s name in voter list of Mamata’s constituency has raised speculations

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Agartala: In an interesting development, the poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who helped Trinamool Congress to win in the recent Assembly polls, has registered himself as a voter of the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency. The election commission website claims that Kishor has registered himself in the period between January and April fuelling the speculation that he might join the party.

The inclusion of Kishor before the bye-election in the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency, where Mamata Banerjee is contesting to retain her post as the chief minister of the state, triggered controversy. Taking a jibe at the ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP on Saturday said Prashant Kishor, who was the poll adviser of the Mamata Banerjee-led party in the recent West Bengal elections, can be called a “bohiragato” being enrolled as a voter in the Bhabanipur constituency.

Claiming that PK (poll strategist Prashant Kishor) is in the list, who is the founder of I-PAC, BJP media cell in-charge Saptarshi Choudhury tweeted in Bengali, “At last Prashant Kishor becomes the voter of Bhabanipur. So, we are not sure if the daughter of Bengal is now in favour of a bahiragato (outsider) voter.”

Kishore with an EPIC number of IUI0686683 has been shown as a permanent resident of Bhabanipur Assembly constituency and has the polling station at Booth No- 222 in Rani Shankari Lane under the constituency.

Kishor, credited with the spectacular victory of the Trinamool Congress against a high voltage Assembly poll campaign by the BJP, had announced he will be taking a break from strategising work.

He was not seen publicly in Trinamool’s campaign for Bhabanipur since the announcement of poll dates, but sources said he had held meetings with party national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee recently in Delhi.

Kishor’s I-PAC team members had also visited Tripura, which the Trinamool is eyeing in the 2023 polls, but were allegedly confined in a hotel by the BJP government in the state for three days under the Disaster Management Act.

Kishor’s inclusion in Bhabanipur voters’ list has virtually ended the speculation of his joining the Congress. Kishor was meeting Congress’ top leadership, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for the last few months fuelling the speculation that he might join Congress. Sources in the party had also indicated that the decision of his’ joining the party was lying with Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Kishor had initially worked with the BJP in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha elections and thereafter joined the JD(U) and was the party’s national president. However, he was expelled from the party for his anti-party activities and allegedly using the party platform for his selfish personal purposes.

Kishor also worked with the Congress during the last Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. He also assisted the party in Punjab and was Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s adviser, a post he quit recently.

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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