Kolkata: With calendars, greeting cards and Rabindranath Tagore's verses, political leaders in West Bengal are trying to make their way into voters' hearts. For, the Bengali new year comes just ahead of crucial assembly polls. Poila Baisakh - the first of the traditional month of Baisakh which falls on April 15 this year - marks the Bengali 'naba barsha'. Not to miss the opportunity, politicians are busy distributing calendars and greeting cards.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has got calendars and greeting cards made with lines from Tagore's poems in them, accompanied by a call to build a Sonar Bangla or a golden Bengal. However, neither the calendar nor the card carries any appeal to voters or even the party symbol.
Student leader and youngest Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) candidate Shatarup Ghosh has been sending out greeting cards carrying a personal message from him and wishes from the party. "We have already started giving out cards to people wishing them a prosperous new year. It has a personal message from my behalf as well as from our party. We will also have 'Prabhat Pheri' in the morning tomorrow in Kasba," Ghosh, who is contesting from the Kasba constituency, told IANS.
Donning traditional kurta and dhoti, Bengalis conduct the tradition of 'Prabhat Pheri' in the morning to welcome the festival of Naba Barsha.
The CPM candidate from Manicktala, Rupa Bagchi, has come out with both New Year calendars and greeting cards. Though it contains no vote appeal, her mobile number has been printed on it. "There is, of course, an idea of campaigning behind giving out the calendars along with seeking the wishes of the people. It is important for me if I can reach out to people on this significant day and get their blessings," said Bagchi.
Former Kolkata mayor and Trinamool candidate from Ballygunge, Subrata Mukherjee, is distributing calendars carrying his picture, along with a vote appeal. Trinamool candidate from Rashbehari in South Kolkata Sovandeb Chattaopadhyay is also reaching out to the electorate with a calendar which has lines from a Tagore poem.
Poila Baisakh corresponds with April 15 of the Gregorian calendar. It is celebrated by Bengalis all over the country and also marks the beginning of the traditional financial year.