Kolkata: When it comes to managing their election campaigns, candidates for the Assembly election in West Bengal are turning to their sons and daughters for help.
Working like backroom boys, Sohini Chatterjee, daughter of state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee and Puja Panja, daughter of state Women and Child Development Minister Shashi Panja help their parents in managing the election campaigns.
Shreya Pande, an actress and daughter of state Consumer Affairs Minister Sadhan Pande, Rohan Mitra, son of state Congress leader and candidate from Chowringhee constituency Somen Mitra, and Russel, son of senior CPI(M) leader and MP Mohammed Salim, also lending a hand.
Some of them are IT professionals, some are bankers, some actors and some still in colleges.
"I am helping my father manage his digital profile for the last one year. Whether it is posting an update or uploading a video of developmental work in the social media, I am doing it meticulously. I take care of my father's social media campaigning," Sohini Chatterjee, an IT professional, she said.
Sohini, however, nurses no ambition of joining active politics, at least for the time being. Sohini and Puja had cut their teeth on micro-managing election campaigns in 2011 when the Trinamool Congress stormed to power tearing down the 34-year-old Left citadel in West Bengal. Sohini said it was she who had first suggested opening a Facebook account for her father, Partha Chatterjee, who is contesting from Behala Paschim Assembly constituency and is a three-time MLA from there.
Partha Chatterjee said, "My daughter helps me in a lot of ways like taking care of social media campaigning. Even when there are no elections, she helps with implementation of development work in my constituency." Rohan Mitra, a former executive in a multinational company, is helping his father, Somen Mitra, in his election campaigning since 2014. Although, Rohan is yet to formally step in active politics, he is quite popular among youth Congress workers. "I am trying to mobilise youth Congress workers and training them on using social media effectively. I am also playing my bit in planning campaigns etc," Rohan said.
Actress Shreya Pande, who has been a part of her father's campaign management in the last several elections, is also helping friend and co-star Soham Chakraborty, who is fighting on a TMC ticket from Borjola constituency in Bankura, to canvass support.
"When I was three years old, my father took me along with him on his many campaign visits. Whether it is filing of nomination papers or other tasks, I am an integral part of it all," Pande said. Pande is a regular in various rallies and meetings of the TMC which are well attended by cine stars in Bengal. "We are requesting people to cast their votes in favour of the Trinamool Congress to continue the development work started by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee," Shreya said.
Puja, apart from taking care of the campaigning in the social network sites, is also busy preparing her mother's election speeches. Russel, son of Mohammed Salim, is working with the IT team of the CPM in the social media campaigning. Congress candidate Arunava Ghosh's daughter Atreya is also busy helping her father in campaigning.