Gosaba/Khardah: TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Saturday claimed that voting for the Congress and Left Front would be in no way different from opting for the NOTA button as he sought to woo the electorate ahead of the October 30 by-poll to four assembly seats.
He also stated that casting ballots for the two parties, if nothing, might “strengthen the hands of BJP.”
Banerjee slammed the saffron party for “thrusting by-election” on two of the four seats that will go to the polls next week.
Addressing back-to-back rallies, he pointed out that by-poll was necessitated in Gosaba and in Khardah following the death of two TMC candidates, but the circumstances under which elections are being held in Shantipur and Dinhata are different.
“Winning BJP candidates Jagannath Sarkar (Shantipur) and Nisith Pramanik (Dinhata) resigned as MLAs even after being elected by people. They dishonoured the verdict of people to retain parliamentary berths. The BJP is seeking votes again in those two seats. They will be rejected by people,” he claimed.
The senior TMC leader also asserted that his party will make a “4-0 sweep” in the by-elections.
“The entire country is eagerly waiting for the results of by-polls in these four constituencies. People of the country want a leader like Mamata. That is why they raised slogans such as ‘Desh ki netri kaisi ho, Mamata didi jaisi ho’,” he said during his campaign in Khardah.
Hitting out at the Congress and Left, he said that the two parties had firmed up alliances with the aim to stop Mamata Banerjee from winning elections, and ended up as “losers”.
“Over the past seven years, the Congress had only conceded defeat to the BJP all over the country, while Mamata Banerjee thwarted all challenges posed by communal and undemocratic BJP,” he said.
The Left and the Congress had even tied up with the ISF but the electorate of Bengal chose Mamata Banerjee over any other party. Voting for them is the same as pressing the NOTA button. If anything, it will strengthen BJP’s hands,” the TMC’s number two leader underlined.
Banerjee further contended that the BJP was trying to win the elections in Shantipur and gain political mileage, riding on the recent communal violence in Bangladesh.
“The BJP state president (Sukanta Majumdar) has said that his party will win by-elections in Shantipur because of the violence in Bangladesh. Isn’t he ashamed? You (Majumdar) are trying to gain political mileage out of communal violence in Bangladesh where Hindus were tortured,” he alleged.
The TMC supremo is emerging as the “undisputed leader” from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the spearhead to fight and defeat the Modi-Shah regime in the next general election, Banerjee insisted.
“Our party is making its presence felt all over the country. It has established its place among the top four to five national parties. We will win the assembly polls in Goa in a few months from now; we will dislodge the Biplab Deb government in Tripura 2023,” he contended.
Alleging that the BJP has trampled democracy in states where it is in power, Banerjee, during his address in Gosaba, said, “Wherever the BJP has crushed opposition views, the TMC will go and fight them.”
Holding the Biplab Deb government in Tripura responsible for an assault on his party members, Banerjee noted that Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev was attacked in the state by the BJP on Friday.
“Should that happen in a democracy? We will not cower down before them. We will drive out the BJP from Tripura, carrying a picture of Mamata Banerjee, he said.
Banerjee claimed that the BJP “harasses” anyone who airs views against them, with help from central agencies, but they cannot silence the TMC.
“They had summoned me several, times, interrogated me for nine hours. You can interrogate me for hours and hours but that will not stop me from speaking against you (BJP leaders). If you slit my throat, I will still shout Jai Hind’, Jai Bangla’. Truth is on my side,” he maintained.
Taking a dig at Amit Shah, he said, “The former BJP national president and the current home minister had promised to dole out Rs 2 lakh crore for the development of Sunderbans and carve out a separate district, during his campaigns for assembly polls some months ago.
“They are still at the helm in Delhi but you won’t hear about any follow-up initiatives from them.”
The Diamond Harbour MP further noted that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in contrast, “kept her promises and rolled out schemes such as Lakshmir Bhandar”.
“Here lies the difference between the BJP and the TMC. No one got Rs 15 lakh in their bank account, as promised by Narendra Modi in 2014. But all our social welfare projects — Krishakbandhu, Swastha Sathi, Kanyashree and Lakshmir Bhandar — are benefitting crores of people already,” he said.
Banerjee, who is also the nephew of the CM, continued its tirade against the Centre, stating that the Narendra Modi government did not release funds required for relief operations after cyclones ravaged Bengal.
“Don’t worry, Mamata Banerjee will be on your side with all her might and resources,” he said.
Hitting out at the Centre over its 100-crore vaccination feat, he quipped that the BJP-led NDA government “hit double centuries”, the first one with the hike in prices of petrol and diesel
In an apparent overture to Hindus, the TMC general said, “Our CM has given Rs 50,000 to every Durga Puja committee. She is the one who made sure people get to celebrate Durga Puja, despite economic stress.
“She wants people to celebrate all festivals — from Durga puja to Kali Puja and Chhat, from Eid to Christmas. She believes in universal brotherhood,” he added.
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