Agartala: All Indian Trinamool Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Tuesday took a dig at the BJP, claiming that the Tripura government is a sinking ship which can’t be saved by replacing the captain. “It is the ship that is faulty. The new person steering it can’t make any difference. It has to meet its destined future, which means it will ultimately be submerged in water,” he said, referring to the change of guard in the state.

“In my first public address in Agartala, I told the then Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb that your days are numbered, and last month, he was removed from his post. Now, the baton is in the hands of Dr Manik Saha. What will he do? When the ship is sinking, replacing the captain is not a remedy,” he added.

Lashing out at the state government for alleged poor health infrastructure, Banerjee said, “Two doctors have been fielded by the BJP in these by-elections. So let’s put some light on the health infrastructure of the state. The basic medical treatment people require in critical times is not available here in Tripura. People have to travel to Kolkata for almost all critical treatments. All the hospitals are running short of doctors by almost 50 per cent with no fresh recruitment drive for the last four years.
Does the BJP have any answers to these questions? No. Neither the old Manik nor the new Manik has any answers to these questions. There was a Manik who was dethroned by Biplab and now BJP got another Manik in the saddle. Fair to say, it’s old wine in a new bottle.”

Dubbing the BJP’s model of governance as ‘Goons at doorstep’, Banerjee said, “What is the situation of Tripura today? Doctors, lawyers, politicians and people from all walks of life are under attack. People step out of their homes with uncertainty. This model of governance that only gives you violence instead of your valuable vote needs to be changed and Mamata Banerjee’s model of ‘governance at doorstep’ needs to be adopted. This fight is not between Trinamool and BJP, it is a battle between the people of Tripura and BJP’s misrule and we will fight for the people of the state till the last drop of our blood.”

Banerjee also appealed to the electorates not to waste their votes by choosing CPIM or Congress as an alternative to BJP. “Congress has ruled the state for many years before being taken over by CPIM. Congress, CPIM and BJP are tried and tested, I would seek a chance for Trinamool. Make no mistake, Trinamool under the apt leadership of Mamata Banerjee is the only party that has thoroughly defeated the BJP. If BJP is a virus, Trinamool is its vaccine,” he pointed out.

Banerjee also spoke about a range of issues and appealed to the people to vote for the TMC candidate in the forthcoming by-elections. He said these by-elections are a practice session for bidding final adieu to the BJP in the 2023 assembly elections.

Apart from Banerjee, several other senior TMC leaders like Youth Trinamool President Saayoni Ghosh, National Spokesman Kunal Ghosh, In-charge Tripura Rajib Banerjee, MP Susmita Dev, and Trinamool state president Subal Bhowmik spoke during the public meeting held at GB Bazar. Before that, a roadshow was organised at Agartala in support of both the TMC leaders.

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