Debating India

Elections? No taxing matter

Sunday 9 April 2006, by DUTTA*Indrani

Kolkata

He has fought many courtroom battles, but now Income Tax advocate Narayan Jain is gearing to fight on a different turf. The nominee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) for the Chowringhee constituency, he is up against Congress candidate and former Kolkata Mayor Subrata Mukherjee.

Mr. Jain is a man who wears many hats. He is a visiting faculty member at the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences and the author of popular books such as How to handle Income Tax problems. He has also been president of the citizens’ body, Concern for Calcutta.

With a reputation for being a non-Left constituency, Chowringhee has elected Mr. Mukherjee several times in the past; but this time round, Trinamool Congress candidate Sanjay Bakshi is likely to make it a tough contest.

Mr. Jain, however, is unfazed by the opposition. He points out that he has been helping out Left candidates like Biplab Dasgupta and the former Finance Minister, Ashok Mitra, in organising meetings in the many multi-storied apartment buildings that dot the area for 20 years.

The tax advocate says that he will work towards creating a more hygienic environment for the many small traders who operate out of the locality. If elected, he will also press for employment-oriented education for the youth.

Chowringhee has a mixed population although over the last few years there has been a demographic shift in favour of Gujarati families, who have bought property here in a big way. The area is believed to house some of the city’s richest people.

Many see Mr. Jain as the fall guy, but he seems to have based his "calculations" on the multi-storied apartments and their occupants, many of whom are his clients.

Constituency: Chowringhee

See online : The Hindu

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