09:44 GMT +314 November 2019
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    The national flags of India (R) and China are seen at the Delhi World Book fair at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on January 9, 2016

    Chinese Language Features in Indian Parliamentary Election Campaign

    © AFP 2019 / Chandan Khanna
    Asia & Pacific
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    In a first, the Trinamool Congress Party in India will release the party’s election campaign material in the Chinese language to woo the small Chinese-origin population that is settled in the city of Kolkata in the eastern state of West Bengal.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): It may sound a bit unusual for an Indian political party to use the Chinese language in its campaign, but Trinamool Congress (TMC), which is the governing party of West Bengal state in eastern India, will do exactly that. The party will conduct a part of its campaign in Chinese in areas dominated by Indians of Chinese origin. 

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    The South Kolkata Constituency in the Indian metropolis Kolkata, which was the erstwhile capital of India during British rule before the imperial forces moved their capital to Delhi, has a portion of its population that are of Chinese origin. 

    Election graffiti reading "Vote for Trinamool Congress" has appeared on dozens of walls in Kolkata near the famed Chinatown area.

    The Chinese connection with Kolkata goes back to industrialist Yong Atchew, who came to West Bengal (then united Bengal) from China in 1780 and set up a sugar plantation and sugar mill. Chinese workers followed him to Kolkata in the 18th century to work in the plantation and at the factory, reports Hindustan Times.

    TMC candidate Mala Roy, a five-time councillor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has taken the "Chinese" plunge to attract Chinese Indians in her constituency.

    ​This is the first time that a political party has planned to campaign in Chinese on Indian soil, the report adds.

    ​"If our candidate has time, we would also organise a street corner meeting, where our message will be delivered in the Chinese language. There are about 2,000 voters of Chinese origin in this part of Kolkata", said Faiz Ahmed Khan, a TMC leader to the Hindustan Times.

    READ MORE: Indian Minister Advocates Minimizing Language Barriers Between Indians, Chinese

    The Chinese population, which was earlier engaged in the tannery industry after the collapse of the sugar factories, has now branched out into the footwear industry, dentistry, laundries, piggeries, and eateries.

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    Chinese, campaign, language, elections, West Bengal, India
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