West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee on Saturday chalked out a three-point programme to “counter the rise of the BJP-RSS combine” in the state. She spelt out the programme at the party’s decision-making committee meeting. “Mamata Banerjee today gave us a three-point programme to counter the BJP-RSS in Bengal. First, we have been asked to organise small rallies and street-corner meetings from November 3-11 throughout the state where we will highlight the dangers of communalism and the threat the BJP-RSS poses to the state which has a history of communal harmony,” a senior TMC leader said.
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Secondly, during the Winter Session of Parliament, the party MPs have been asked to go for an “all-out attack” on the BJP government at the Centre over “rise of communalism”, he added. “Thirdly, a committee has been formed, with veteran MP Saugata Roy heading it, to prepare a booklet on the threats of communalism, the Singur movement and the achievements of the government,” he said.
The TMC leadership’s decision comes in the backdrop of clashes during the recently-concluded Durga Puja festival and Muharram which the state government has described as “stray incidents” occasioned by “personal rivalry”. Some of the TMC leaders though had earlier expressed their “displeasure” over the “communal” clashes in the state.
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“As the CPI(M) and the Congress have been wiped out of Bengal, a political vacuum has been created in the opposition space and the BJP-RSS is fast filling that up,” a senior TMC MP told reporters. He admitted that the TMC top brass had “underestimated” the rise of the BJP-RSS in Bengal. “They had thought it was not a big threat. But, they were wrong,” the MP said.
“The recent communal clashes in various parts of the state have proved that we were wrong in gauging the growth of the BJP-RSS. Never before such a large-scale communal violence had taken place,” he added.