I’ve been handheld by Amit Shah to understand statecraft nuances: Nisith Pramanik

Nisith Pramanik, a BJP leader and Union minister seeking re-election to Parliament, believes his experience has made him confident in implementing fresh ideas. At 38, he has served in various ministerial roles and worked closely with Amit Shah. Despite facing legal challenges and criticism from the TMC, Pramanik remains focused on his vision for India.

PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 29-03-2024 09:06 IST | Created: 29-03-2024 09:06 IST
I’ve been handheld by Amit Shah to understand statecraft nuances: Nisith Pramanik
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Three years in a Union minister's chair seems to have given BJP leader Nisith Pramanik his much-needed confidence to revisit the doorsteps of his voters and seek re-election to the lower house of Parliament.

Or so, feels the incumbent MP from Cooch Behar on whose shoulders the party's electoral fortunes in north Bengal largely rest, notwithstanding the fact that Pramanik's total political career is less than a decade old. "My days, first as an MP and subsequent to the Covid-19 outbreak as a minister, have been a learning curve all through," Pramanik told PTI, ''and the intense learning in various sensitive aspects of statecraft during this time has made me confident to implement fresh ideas in that domain if people re-elect me to Parliament." The 38-year-old leader, who has served as a Union minister of state in both the Home Ministry as well as the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, asserted that his opportunity to work with Home Minister Amit Shah has allowed him to experience deep insight into sensitive matters like border security, working with central agencies and policies concerning India's internal security.

"Amit Shah is an institution by himself. I am fortunate to have been part of a large thought process that's shaping the future of our nation. I have been tested both on the floor of Parliament, where I have had to answer tough questions from senior members, and off it. I think I have shaped up well to play an effective role in national politics," Pramanik said during an interview.

A former Trinamool Congress youth leader who joined the BJP following his expulsion after the 2018 panchayat polls in West Bengal, Pramanik stunned his nearest TMC rival Paresh Adhikary with a winning margin of over 54,000 votes in the 2019 general elections.

Two years later, at the age of 35, he earned the distinction of becoming the youngest member of Narendra Modi's council of ministers following a reshuffle in the Union cabinet.

"I have never skipped a step in climbing the political ladder, in organisational as well as electoral politics," Pramanik said, justifying his grip over the political landscape of Cooch Behar that, he claimed, made up for his relative lack of experience compared to some of the other leaders in the state.

Pramanik started as a booth president and worked his way up to the BJP's West Bengal state leadership in a meteoric rise of sorts. In the domain of electoral politics, he recounted that his first elected post was that of a panchayat upa-pradhan in his home district before going on to become an MP and, subsequently, a Union minister.

"My days in politics could be fewer than some of the others in this state. But I have never remained detached from the masses. My sustained connection with my people enables me to understand their pulse and emotions closely," Pramanik claimed by way of his USP as a grassroots leader. In his nomination affidavit though, the BJP leader declared that he has 14 criminal cases pending against him, nine of which were registered between 2018 and 2020. The cases range from attempt to murder and rioting to house trespass and unlawful assembly.

As late as January 25 this year, the Jalpaiguri Circuit Bench of the Calcutta High Court granted anticipatory bail to Pramanik in the attempt to murder case lodged against him in 2018.

While the TMC is upbeat about those revelations and plans to use them against Pramanik during campaigns, the BJP candidate remains unfazed.

"These are false cases and lodged with the motive of political vendetta," Pramanik said, maintaining such ignominies are part and parcel of opposition politics in West Bengal.

"Such petty politics do not dominate my thoughts anymore. I am focused on how well I can do my bit to contribute to Modiji's call for 'Viksit Bharat' and achieve his dream to turn the country into a developed nation before we observe the centenary of our Independence in 2024," Pramanik said.

His opponent in the fray, TMC's Jagadish Basunia, however, thinks the BJP leader has already failed his task. "He hasn't kept one promise he made to his people since he became an MP. Not one central development project has fully taken off in Cooch Behar. He has even failed to extract an assurance from the Centre about the inclusion of Rajbanshi language in the Constitution's Eighth Schedule," Basunia alleged.

The Panchayat poll statistics say TMC has a comfortable lead of 3.5 lakh votes in the district and Pramanik will not make it this time, he asserted.

Pramanik, needless to say, differs. "We identified our weaknesses and have rectified them already. The panchayat polls were fraught with electoral malpractices and are no indicators for Lok Sabha elections. People have made up their minds and are ready to throw the corrupt TMC out," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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