There are three Congress bastions in north Bengal which have set the alarm bells ringing in the Left. The worry—what if the Congress is able to similarly revive party organisation in other districts, what if it finds a connect with the electorate? Well, then there may be a few surprises in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Behrampore, the Murshidabad district HQ, is like no other town in Bengal. It stands out for cleanliness, orderliness, civic development and low crime rate. But it wasn't like this when the Left was presiding over affairs a decade ago. To say it has metamorphosed in the last decade, under the Congress-run municipality, would be to still underplay the effort. Lal Dighi, a large lake in the town's centre, symbolises the turnaround. Today, it sports fountains, manicured lawns, gardens. And this is true for the entire district—it has witnessed unprecedented development.