Updated: October 31, 2021 9:40:50 pm
Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee said Sunday that his party would contest all seats in the 20 civic bodies in Tripura scheduled to go to polls on November 25, and appealed to the people to vote against BJP’s “misrule”. Banerjee said TMC is the vaccine for the “BJP virus” and the urban body polls will be its first dose while the 2023 assembly elections will be the booster shot.
At Banerjee’s first public rally in Agartala, BJP national executive committee member Rajib Banerjee and Tripura BJP MLA Ashish Das joined the TMC.
We will fight till the LAST DROP OF OUR BLOOD – this is our promise!
— AITC Tripura (@AITC4Tripura) October 31, 2021
“Municipal polls would be khutipujo (referring to beginning of Durga Puja ritual) and the 2023 polls will see bishorjon (idol immersion). There are at least 15 BJP MLAs who will join our party if we give the green signal. But we don’t want to fell elected governments. The BJP-led government in Tripura has 14 months till expiry. After February 2023, the TMC will form a democratic government here,” Abhishek Banerjee said.
Accusing Tripura’s ruling BJP of hooliganism and corruption, the TMC leader said party supremo Mamata Banerjee was tested and proven to be the lone successful contender against the BJP across India and asked the people of Tripura to silently vote in favour of the Trinamool in the civic body polls and the 2023 Assembly polls.
Roughly 500 people attended the rally as per an order of the Tripura High Court which constituted a special bench late Saturday evening after the TMC challenged a government order which asked it to shift the rally’s venue from near Rabindra Shatabarshiki Bhawan to Vivekananda Maidan a day before the event citing Covid-19 concerns.
The TMC later secured permission to hold the rally with a maximum of 500 supporters as per an order the special bench late on Saturday. Banerjee was thrice denied permission to hold a rally here in September this year citing concerns over the spreading pandemic.
TMC flags were handed over to BJP leaders Rajib Banerjee and Ashish Das who joined the party at the rally. Rajib was a former minister in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet and had shifted to the BJP in January this year.
“I was wrong in calling for double-engine government of BJP. I am repenting, I am ashamed. They (BJP) showed rosy picture from all sides about development. I tried to raise issues of development, inflation many times in the party, but they paid lip service alone,” Rajib said. He explained that he had left Trinamool out of “some misunderstanding and sentiment” but has realised that he couldn’t ttolerate the BJP’s “politics of hatred”.
Das, a BJP MLA from Surma Assembly constituency in Dhalai district, had earlier shaved off his head as ‘penance’ at Kalighat in West Bengal on October 5 and said he would stay that way till the BJP is uprooted in 2023.
Banerjee said that if free and fair elections are held, TMC would emerge victorious and the BJP would vanish. He announced that if his party is voted to power in the Assembly, it would implement the Bengal government’s schemes like Kanyasri, Rupasri, Laxmir Bhandar and Duware Sarkar within three months. The party would also ensure legal aid and employment for the 10,323 school teachers whose posts were retrenched due to faulty recruitment.
Banerjee said both CPI(M) and BJP governments in Tripura thrived on hooliganism, but his party would take a different route.
Accusing the BJP-led governments at the Centre and state of corruption, the TMC leader said the party’s ‘double engine government’ was actually a ‘double chor’ (double thief). He attacked Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb saying he isn’t worthy of presiding over a Durga Puja club or a municipal ward committee but was made the CM, owing to which he is acting like Muhammad bin Tughlaq and making erratic decisions.
The TMC general secretary also criticised the Tripura government over recent incidents of vandalism and communal tension in the wake of violence directed against temples and Puja pandals in Bangladesh. Banerjee said Tripura’s image is being tarnished across the country due to communal disturbances. He added that party chief Mamata Banerjee will visit Tripura in December.
Reacting to Banerjee’s comments, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya termed him the “pappu of eastern India” and said CM Deb has proven his acceptance before the people of Tripura.
“He (Banerjee) is pappu of eastern India. He entered politics with his aunt’s hand. He has proven their (TMC) identity through choice of words. We criticise people from specific policy standpoints but didn’t insult Mamata Banerjee during elections as well. Character assassination is the character of TMC,” Bhattacharya said.
He said the Trinamool Congress wouldn’t be able to grow mool (roots) in Tripura before adding, “Tripura doesn’t want TMC’s Duware Sorkar model (as per which) rapists, mafia are running free in West Bengal.”
Later in the evening, the chief minister’s OSD Sanjay Mishra tweeted, “Didi’s cousin had such a fate in Tripura, that 500 people couldn’t be gathered. Chairs remained empty. #Begambhaipoaurangzeb”.
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