Saturday, November 3, 2012
Dalu’s Homecoming Marked with Euphoria of Cong Supporters
Malda, November 2, 2012: The misty morning clock was yet to strike 6. Still thousands thronged at Malda station. The band and bugle was ready along with huge floral rings-----all were to welcome the new Minister. No security ordeal, no ticket collector either. All are here to receive Daluda –Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury, the new Union minister of state for Health and Family Planning on his first visit to Malda after becoming minister. With the Gour Express arriving the station, the excitement went maddening. Interestingly the first slogan that greeted Dalu was ----Barkat da zindabad (long live Ghani Khan). Soon it was followed by Dalu da zindabad…!
Clamor of supporters, fight of leaders to be caught in the same frame with Dalu, beats of drums---- all were there to take Dalu to Kotwali, the ancestral palace. At least 30 cars were there in the convoy which had to be stopped in places on road to receive the floral tribute. The convoy finally stopped meters away from palace.
Draped women with conch-shell and flowers were in two sides of the road to receive Dalu, the minister. Smiling minister had to enjoy everything. Prior to enter house, the leader had to pay floral tribute to elder brother Ghani Khan Choudhury’s mazaar. Yesterday was his birthday. By that time, Dalu was joined by inmates like Mausam Noor, Abu Naser Khan Choudhury (Lebu) apart from his son Isha Khan. The entire Kotwali has got a festive look. Thousands began to pour down, most of them wanted to have a glimpse of minister!
Within half an hour, Dalu had to appear before public again. With the changed attire of white punjabi and kurta, Dalu takes his seat in a sofa in the verandah. The volunteers were busy controlling the mob. One by one was getting the chance. The visitors even included the mothers with baby in their laps. Removing the shoe comes the visitor and bows to Daluda, asks his well being. Some touch his feet, some even heads to ground. Smiling Dalu was to entertain all. Meanwhile the arrangement of grand feast, blood donation camp, reading from the religious scriptures was on full swing. All were to celebrate Barkatda’s birthday---be it a day later. In fact welcoming Daluda was more important.
Amid the queries about the Ashoka Hall, oath taking, new office and the receiving various application from the visitors, new minister had to face serious questions as well. In reply to such questions Dalu said, “We are going to build AIIMS at Raiganj. Central government itself would buy the land; we have sought Rs 20 crore from Centre for this…” But none was in mood to hear all these. Everyone was vying to have a look at the new minister---after all ministry comes to Kotwali after 25 years! (Photos: Uday Mandal)