Published By: Aashi Sadana
Last Updated: April 12, 2023, 23:50 IST
TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Wednesday accused the BJP government at the Centre of using religious sentiments like the Ayodhya Ram Mandir to hide its failure to provide good governance in the last nine years.
Accusing the Centre of trying to starve the West Bengal government of funds by withholding the MGNREGA funds, he said the next elections in the state will be fought on people-centric issues and not on the narrative of religion and caste.
“BJP wants to indulge in the politics of religion to hide its failures. Will politics over religion help it to satisfy the hunger of the poor people, who are reeling under the rise in the prices of essentials and cooking gas? The answer is no.
“Politics over religion and Ram Mandir is a ploy by BJP to divert attention from the failures of its government at the Centre,” the TMC leader said, addressing a rally at Onda in Bankura district.
The next panchayat and Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal will be held on the plank of the rights of the people of the state, he said alleging that the BJP is trying to snatch their rights.
Banerjee’s comments, considered the number two in TMC, came in the backdrop of clashes in Hooghly and Howrah districts over the Ram Navami processions. The TMC has accused BJP of fuelling communal tensions in the state.
TMC workers will hit the streets of Delhi if the Centre does not release the money due to the state, he said, upping the ante against the BJP government at the Centre ahead of the panchayat election in West Bengal.
The party will also send to Prime Minister Narendra Modi one crore signed letters by daily wagers who could not get employment under MGNREGA, the TMC leader said.
“funds to Bengal, it (BJP) is trying to punish the people of the state for their defeat in the last assembly poll in 2021. It is yet to accept the defeat. We will not bow down before it,” Banerjee said.
He said the people of Bankura “punished” the TMC for mistakes committed by the party.
The BJP had made deep inroads in the tribal-dominated Bankura district by winning both the Lok Sabha seats in 2019 and most of the assembly seats in 2021.
“Both in 2019 and 2021 (elections), the people of Bankura voted for BJP. Maybe we committed a few mistakes, but we have rectified those,” he said.
Banerjee urged the people of the backward district to vote for the TMC.
“When the party’s workers were on the streets in Bankura during the COVID pandemic, the BJP MPs or MLAs from the district were not seen. We did not differentiate because we lost the election here. But if the people of Bankura turn away their faces this time too, TMC will not fight for their rights,” he said.
Claiming that over 18 lakh people have been affected with regards to 100 days work scheme in Bankura alone due to non-payment of dues by the Centre, Banerjee asserted that the BJP representatives from the area will never fight for the rights of the locals.
The people of Bankura regret voting for the BJP in the last Lok Sabha polls and subsequent 2021 assembly elections, he claimed.
Reacting to Banerjee’s remark that people of Bankura have realised their mistakes, Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari claimed it reflects the arrogance of the TMC leader and his disregard towards people’s mandate.
“Just because the people have not voted for them means they have committed mistakes. This only shows their respect towards the democratic process of the country,” he said.
The rural polls in Bengal are due in May this year. Control over the rural bodies is a must for political parties for an upper hand on rivals in the 2024 Lok Sabha election, as most of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state have rural and semi-urban areas administered by panchayats.
Read all the Latest Politics News here
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)