On the day Trinamool Congress visibly choked Kolkata through its commemoration rally at Esplanade, the opposition Congress tried explaining to a few hundred people in Jadu Babu Bazar that the ruling party has “forgotten” the martyrs to whom it dedicates a rally every year on July 21.
State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury who led the rally from Ashutosh Mukherjee Road in South Kolkata to Hazra Crossing protesting against the delay in justice to the families of the 13 Youth Congress protesters killed in a police firing in 1993, accused Mamata Banerjee of having “trampled the bodies of martyrs to rise to the post of CM”.
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“We want to know when will the families of the martyrs get justice. The then Chief Secretary, during Jyoti Basu’s reign, is now a Cabinet minister in Mamata Banerjee’s government,” the Congress leader said. He claimed that the police had on July 16 given them the permission to hold the rally today but called them last night, saying they cannot hold the rally.
“Clearly the TMC is afraid of us. I believe the CM had instructed the police to do so,” Chowdhury alleged.
For the CPM, Mamata’s rally was an opportunity to “present before the public distorted facts”.
At a press conference later in the day, CPM state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra said, “She had claimed to have given 39 lakh jobs in the last four years. Will the TMC leaders do a calculation of how many persons have got jobs in the 294 Assembly constituencies and let us know?” he said. Mishra also took a dig at Mamata’s five Ds – Discipline, Dedication, Devotion, Determination and Development – which she had said she will bring to the state. “But her party had mixed all the five Ds and brought only one D – destruction. She has destroyed the state’s agriculture and industrial sectors.”
State BJP president Rahul Sinha said that the CM did not speak of the prevailing lawlessness in the state.
“She didn’t talk about the deaths of her workers in the several internal clashes or the murder of other partymen by her workers. She didn’t talk about the rampant rape incidents in the state. She gave out fictitious figures and misled the people of Bengal,” Sinha said.
Mukul Roy, who was interestingly not present at the event, told The Indian Express over the phone that he could not attend it because of his preoccupation in Delhi. “I had some emergency meeting here and that is why I could not come. I have, however, observed it in my own way here,” he said. Asked if he was asked to attend the meeting, he said, “Party members don’t need any invitation to attend a party’s event.”