Tight Fight In ‘Voters-Chopped’ Panchayat Election In Tea-Belt


Siliguri: Tea Belt is highly agitated on Panchayat Election. Leaders across party lines in the tea belt of Dooars and some pockets of North Dinajpur expect a tough contest in the rural elections, particularly in the two lower tiers of gram panchayats and panchayat samitis.

As tea workers and their families have got divided along political lines. This is indicative of a change in the common trend of en bloc voting that has been witnessed in the tea belts so far, particularly in rural polls.

“Earlier, domination of tea trade unions in a tea estate was the key factor that would help political parties, mostly the Left and Congress, to win in seats. It was a general trend that voters would cast votes en bloc in favour of the candidate fielded by the party that has the strongest trade union base in a tea garden,” said a senior trade union leader.

However, during past two-three years, there has been a paradigm shift, opine the leaders.
Unlike those years when one or two parties used to control the tea belt with its trade union fronts, the tea population has started segregating among trade unions and political parties for past few years.