Two former Indian Police Service (IPS) officers are engaged in a face-off in the Debra constituency in Bengal during the upcoming Assembly elections.
The Trinamool Congress candidate is Humayun Kabir, who quit IPS before his retirement next month, and the BJP has fielded Bharati Ghosh, who resigned from service over differences with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee a few years ago.
While Kabir is fighting his maiden electoral battle, Ghosh had contested from the Ghatal Lok Sabha seat, which includes Debra also, in the 2019 elections, but lost. At present, she is the BJP's state vice-president.
Debra is about 100 km from Bengal’s capital Kolkata. At the Trinanool’s office in the locality, Kabir, who is accompanied by his spouse Anindita Das Kabeer, speaks to Malayala Manorama.
You were supposed to retire from service next month, but resigned to enter politics. What made you take this decision?
I quit the IPS to make a film, not to contest polls. In fact, I had made a film earlier and also wrote some novels. While I was planning to travel to Mumbai for work related to my second movie, my wife joined the Trinamool Congress and I too became interested in politics.
What attracted you to politics?
The party in power at the Centre has destroyed democracy and the self-respect of the people. That party’s leaders are repeating lies and causing a divide among people. We need to keep such a party away from power.
Your rival is also an IPS officer. Did the BJP choose her specifically to oppose you?
I have no idea about that. Whether I am fighting an IPS officer or someone else, what matters is that this is battle between communal forces and ordinary people.
Bharati Ghosh was facing an arrest warrant in a case related to some political violence that occurred during the 2019 elections, but the Supreme Court has stayed action against her till the ongoing poll process is completed. What are your views on these developments?
There is no surprise in such court orders. How many people in the country have trust even in the Supreme Court these days?
As IPS officers, were you and Bharati Ghosh acquainted with each other?
We have never met because there are hundreds of police officers. But even if we were friends, it wouldn’t be an issue during the elections as this is a battle between ideologies.