Kolkata: Ankur Gupta was glued to his mobile phone since 9am even as his workers loaded vehicles with cans of milk near Ganesh Talkies on Rabindra Sarani. On other days, Gupta (42), a resident of Meerut settled in Kolkata for the past three generations, supervises the despatch of milk from the city’s biggest milk hub to various pockets of Kolkata. The counting of the crucial UP elections kept him glued to his mobile phone on Thursday.
“It was a decisive election in Uttar Pradesh and several people who have origins in UP were following the contest closely,” said Gupta, who now votes in Kolkata but whose family still owns land and cattle in Meerut.
Central Kolkata is home to several people with origins in several parts of Uttar Pradesh. Most of them have been staying in the city for generations and associated with various trades from wholesalers of oil to selling leather. Almost all of them closely track developments in UP.
Mohammad Ashraf Ali, a leather merchant in central Kolkata, hails from Faizabad. “We were expecting a slightly different result based on the feedback of our relatives in UP. But people must accept the verdict and hope the new government works for the upliftment of all,” said Ali.
“Politics is closely related to business. It provides an indication in which direction the country will move in next few years,” said Arvind Khemka, a Burrabazar wholesaler.
Several youths from Manipur, who study in various colleges in the city, too had been following the election in their home state. “Manipur has one of the highest rates of unemployment among the NE states. Successive governments have done little to resolve this issue. I hope the elected government will focus on this,” said Bineeta Oinam, a student of St Paul’s College.