BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee yesterday disclosed before the Election Commission of India, while filing his nomination paper, that he does not own a house, his wife does. He does not even have a car, unlike many of his party colleagues. Bhattacharjee lives in a rented two-room government flat at Palm Avenue in Ballygunge with his wife and daughter and his bank account shows a meagre Rs 5,000. No other investments. A Spartan life indeed.
But then how does the chief minister run his family? The answer, perhaps, lies in the affidavit that shows that his wife Mira Bhattacharjee, who worked with the Development Consultants Ltd, owns a house in Rajarhat New Town, worth `15 lakh, and has assets a little over `31.15 lakh, comprising bank deposits, investments and jewellery. The chief minister had an income of `1 lakh in 2009-10, while his wife’s earning was `6.70 lakh.
The incomes showed in the affidavit taken together come to around `64,166 a month. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, now 67, is contesting from the Jadavpur constituency.
On Tuesday, when Bhattacharjee went to the district magistrate’s office at Alipore to file his nomination, he was flanked by his election agent and former Kolkata mayor Bikash Bhattacharya, CPM’s South 24-Parganas district secretary Sujan Chakrabarty, his once trusted lieutenant Khokan Ghosh Dastidar. CPM supporters shouted slogans at the ground floor but unlike in 2006, there wasn’t a crowd this time.
Bhattacharjee entered SDO Tanvir Afzal’s chamber at 12.20pm for the formalities. The SDO asked for a passport size photograph which the chief minister’s election agent provided.
His unceremonious entry was in stark contrast with that of another CPM candidate Tapas Chatterjee, who went to the Barasat SDO office with a huge crowd and a row of boys beating drums for him.
However, finance minister Asim Dasgupta’s was without frills, like Bhattacharjee’s. A group of CPM activists bearing party flags went with him as he filed his nomination from Khardah in North 24-Parganas. Land reforms minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah had gone in a convoy of cars, packed with CPM supporters, to file his nomination from Canning East on Saturday.