Woman living in mud hut with no electricity elected MLA in West Bengal polls | The Daily Star
08:13 PM, May 06, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:17 PM, May 06, 2021

Woman living in mud hut with no electricity elected MLA in West Bengal polls

Chandana Bauri, wife of a daily wage earner, grabbed spotlight and social media attention in West Bengal after announcement of the assembly polls result on May 2.

According to her election affidavit, Chandana has Rs 6,335 cash in her bank account and lives in a mud hut that has no electricity connection.

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She came under spotlight after being elected MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) from Saltora constituency under Bankura in the just-concluded West Bengal assembly polls. She won by defeating TMC rival Santosh Kumar Mondol by a margin of more than 4,000 votes.

At a time when many high-profile stalwarts of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faced huge defeat, and the party's dream to grab West Bengal assembly was crushed, a very ordinary woman bagged an extraordinary victory by fighting against all odds.

Chandana's entire worldly assets are worth Rs 31,985 while her husband's assets are valued at Rs 30,311, according to her election affidavit. She is a mother of three, her family owns three cows and three goats, and her husband, Saraban Bauri, has no regular source of income.  They don't own any agricultural land.

The Bauri family came into limelight when Union Home Minister Amit Shah in November had a meal at their house in Chaturdihi village of the district during his election campaign.

Amit and other BJP leaders were served lunch on a plate with a banana leaf on it with rice, roti, daal, potol bhaja, shukto, alu-posto, and papad. Sweets such as rosogolla, sandesh and doi were also on the menu.

But a big surprise was waiting for Bauri, a surprise that she could not even fathom in her wildest dreams. The 30-year-old was to be included in the BJP's candidate list for West Bengal assembly polls.

She was even unaware that the party had given her a ticket and it was her neighbours who told Bauri about her candidature.

Her name was also mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election rally in the Bankura district and Modi urged all to vote for Chandana, who studied till Class 12.

At that rally Modi had called Chandana "Bengal's hope".

Very few had heard of her, even in her constituency, when BJP decided to give her the ticket, which left people surprised, including herself.

Chandana's story of victory became viral on social media. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were flooded with congratulatory messages -- deeming her win as inspiring.

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