After receiving a setback in the Lok Sabha elections, TMC president and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday laid down a blueprint for strengthening the party from the grassroots level ahead of the Assembly polls, which is due in two years.
Addressing the Martyrs’ Day rally in Kolkata, the TMC chief said that the focus will be on strengthening the party’s booth-level committees as she directed her party leaders to reach out to people “who have turned their face from them”.
Looking ahead and within
This year’s Martyrs’ Day rally, Mamata Banerjee's mega annual political event, was different from the previous rallies. The CM assailed the BJP with her usual aggression, but importantly, also asked party cadre to go back to the grassroots and work towards the rejuvenation of its bases among the people. The context is the remarkable performance of the BJP in the Lok Sabha electionsand municipal polls looming next year and Assembly elections scheduled for 2021.
“On July 29, we will start a big pro-people movement at the village and local levels. Leaders from across the state – be it in villages or cities – must work closely with people to help them. On that day, I will announce a booth-level programme. The booth workers are our most valuable workers,” Mamata said.
Asking her party leaders to improve connect with the masses, the TMC chief said, “I have never feared attacks. Trinamool has never feared fighting injustice. Remember if you take bribes, you will be deceiving the people. You must take a vow to stand with the people and for the people. Visit every booth and every block, and always walk with your head held high. Try to reach out to people who have turned their face from us. Try to understand their problems and be with them. There are also some good people in the CPM and Congress. Make an appeal to them to join our party.”
The CM announced that she will start holding administrative meetings from July 26. “Over the next three months, there will be programmes in every district. We will give salaries to government staff as far as possible. DA has been increased to 123 per cent,” she added.
She also announced a line-up of several party programmes for the coming months. The party will observe ‘Bharat Chhoro’ agitation against the BJP on August 9. “On September 26, we will hold the 200th birth anniversary celebrations of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, when I will go to his house. There will be religious festivals as well. On Raksha Bandhan – everyone will tie rakhis on everyone’s hands. We have and will continue to celebrate all festivals – we allow everything – we do not discriminate,” she added.