Poor and polarised Sitalkuchi was always the big contest between TMC

Cooch Behar, which till now, was understood for Maharani Gayatri Devi or its cricket competition, is now in the news following the death of four males in Sitalkuchi assembly constituency on Saturday that has actually caused a political war of claims between political celebrations.

Both TMC and BJP leaders that ET talked to prior to the polls admitted that it was Sitalkuchi—- among the 2 seats out of a total nine seats in the district where the TMC led in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, even while the BJP swept the area—- where the contest was likely to be the closest.

Reaching Sitalkuchi, amongst the most backwards positions in North Bengal, is a job in itself as the road from Bagdogra to Siliguri to Mathabhanga, covering a number of districts surrounding Bangladesh and some that share a border with Bhutan, is bad, or under upkeep. Keshav Barman, a citizen who has recorded regional rituals of Rajbongshis, the most dominant SC community here, said every household here had a deity Masan Baba who was worshipped to keep them safe on their daily commute or on their martial explorations that the neighborhood is known for.Sitalkuchi, largely an agrarian area, controlled by tobacco farmers with some rich ones and some migrants, has seen violence in the current past. A young couple was bothered by TMC employees outside the polling booth in April 2019. There were two attacks on state BJP president Dilip Ghosh—- one prior to his rath yatra in December 2018 and one a week ago. But there have actually been none like the violent clashes on Saturday that experts say threatens to polarise the state further.Sitalkuchi has amongst the greatest percentage of Muslims (36%) in Cooch Behar, just beside Dinhata where MP Nisith Pramanik is the BJP candidate, apart from Rajbhongshis (50%). The Rajbongshis are the third-largest Hindu caste in Bengal constituting 28% of the total population, but represent 60% of the rural population of North Bengal and claim to be the ‘earliest settlers’. Apart from Sitalkuchi, Sitai was the other seat that the TMC led in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.The other consider Sitalkuchi is TMC prospect Partha Pratim Roy, a Rajbongshi himself.”He has loved ones who became part of the higher Cooch Behar movement and had connections even within the Greater Cooch Behar People’s Association (GCPA). While BJP has been successful in getting the majority of the Rajbonghshis with the assistance of GCPA and the promise of Narayani Sena, Partho da utilized his individual appeal to get a part of the neighborhood back,” a TMC regional leader said.He stated Roy and Rabi Ghosh, TMC minister and candidate from neighbouring Natabari, have been understood to have disputes. On Saturday, Ghosh was seen walking around in a blue helmet guarded by security men as he attempted to avoid the violence from spilling into his constituency.A senior BJP leader confessed that in Sitai, Nisith Pramanik had a comfortable following, while in Sitalkuchi, the number of Muslims and Roy’s outreach had made the challenge close.”He spoke in the Rajbongshi dialect in his speeches, ran rescue hotlines for the neighborhood and even reached out to the Nasya Sheikhs here. The sameekaran (combination) was not comfy for us as it remained in other seats.”While the BJP has actually made the CM’s speeches doubting the behaviour of the main forces and the death of first-time citizen Anand Barman, a Rajbhongshi, as the primary slab of its allegations, the TMC has actually required repolling in 4 more cubicles declaring many Muslim citizens did not come out to vote after news about the violence spread.TMC celebration leaders are now making preparations for Banerjee’s go to. “She wants a Nandigram-like movement in Cooch Behar that can send out ripples down Central Bengal where the elections will occur in the next week.”The staying 4 stages will cover Malda, Murshidabad, the Dinajpurs, North 24 Parganas, Purulia, Kolkata, Burdwan and Nadia, Malda and Murshidabad which have a considerable area of Muslims.Located next to Sitai and Mathabhanga, which suggests the start of the Mansa river, Sitalkuchi is traditionally essential, as the Koch Bihar state was built on the archaeological site of Sitai-Dinhata region of Cooch Behar, stated regional historian Keshav Barman.”There was, at a time, a lot of forest area and even leopards and tigers lived here. But we Rajbhongshis use indigenous approaches of farming, made it through and battled. The stress with Muslims has constantly continued because there is a history of dispute here, and their influence on our routines and language have diluted our heritage.”Kartick Das, a teacher at the Panchanan Barman University in Cooch Behar, informed ET that the discontent was simmering in Sitalkuchi considering that 2019 when the BJP managed to get a foothold in every place in Cooch Behar, except Sitalkuchi.”In Cooch Behar, the BJP has a far more powerful, larger organisation with the Rajbonghis forming an excellent part of the cadre. Sitalkuchi has actually been largely a defend power in between TMC and BJP. The TMC tried to attend to the Rajbongshi demands by enhancing infrastructure, but the Rajbhongshis are even more assertive now, as the BJP is powering them.”

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