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Ronny Sen
The road to the second Hoogly bridge in Kolkata.
COLOUR OF POLITICS

Kolkata, once a red bastion, is turning blue and white

By Ronny Sen

Ronny Sen is a Kolkata-based photographer

West Bengal chief minister Mamta Banerjee is a bit of an artist. She is now turning Kolkata, the state’s biggest city and its capital, into her canvass. The city’s municipal corporation, run by her party, has been painting its buildings and public infrastructure in her favourite colours—blue and white.

Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress came to power in 2011, ending a 34-year-old rule of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), during which parts of Kolkata (named Calcutta till 2001) and its landmark buildings were painted red, the colour of the CPIM flag. After Trinamool Congress’ rise to power, the city gradually started changing colour.

The blue and white colour scheme is apparently the chief minister’s favourite. She is often seen wearing white saris with blue hues. Inaugurating a river-front beautification project, she remarked: “blue and white signifies happiness and the city looks bright in this colour scheme”.

Earlier this year, The Kolkata Municipal Corporation introduced a proposal to give a one-year holiday in property taxes to households that painted themselves blue and white, sparking off strong protests from the opposition. While that is yet to be settled, Kolkata’s transition into blue and white is progressing rapidly.

The Bikash Bhawan building in Salt lake City that houses West Bengal government offices.
The housing complex of the Employees State Insurance Corporation in Salt Lake City.
A garbage truck of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.
The Kolkata Improvement Trust building on Exchange Place.
Water tanks on VIP road in Kolkata.
The Vidyasagar Setu in South Kolkata.
The boundary wall of the Julian Day New Mission school on Ramesh Mitra road in Kolkata.
The Metro Rail Bhawan in the Park Street area.
A man looks through his window from his house in the Bhawanipore area. A Trinamool congress stronghold, many of the houses in this locality are painted in blue and white.
A Kolkata Municipal Corporation truck has matching stripes with a bridge in South Kolkata.
The toll plaza on the second Hoogly Bridge of Kolkata.  
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