While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was attending the third meeting of INDIA bloc in Mumbai, back on her home turf Congress and CPI(M) on Friday hit out at the ruling TMC and the BJP-led Centre over issues of ill-governance and corruption.
Congress state unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Communist Party of India (Marxist) state secretary Mohd Salim addressed a joint rally in Jalpaiguri ahead of the September 5 bypoll in Dhupguri seat of the district and said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) were “exploiting people”.
In the upcoming by-election, Congress will be supporting CPI(M) bypoll candidate Ishwar Chandra Roy, who’s a popular folk artist. “The Congress and the Left parties started the 100 Days’ Work Scheme during the UPA-1 regime. In Bengal, people are being deprived of the benefits of the scheme due to the corruption under the TMC regime,” Chowdhury said.
“Didi (Banerjee) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are both exploiting us. The people of Bengal will judge and decide,” he added. The Congress leader also slammed the TMC over the alleged incidents of violence that were reported during the panchayat polls in July. “Violence started in Bengal right after the announcement of the panchayat poll schedule. Common people were not allowed to participate in the panchayat elections…The ruling party of the state has taken away the right of people to express their opinion through violence. The people of Bengal are disorientated due to the terror of Trinamool and police. People have lost the right to exercise democratic rights,” Chowdhury said.
CPI(M) state secretary Mohd Salim hit out at the TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee and Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee who was recently questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in alleged connection with the school jobs ‘scam’.
“Central agencies are not taking appropriate steps against those ruling party leaders in the state who are accused in various cases,” he said.
The cost of agricultural activity has increased severely owing to high petrol and diesel prices, he said, claiming that farmers do not get proper prices for their products.
Salim said that prices of transportation, medicines and essential goods have risen exorbitantly, putting huge pressure on the general people. Salim claimed that the AIIMS, which was supposed to be set up at Raiganj and would have benefited the people of the northern part of the state, was shifted to Kalyani in the south after the BJP came to power in 2014. He asserted that religion should not be mingled with politics.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday attended the third meeting of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc – an alliance of 28 Opposition parties including the TMC, Congress and CPI(M). As many as 63 representatives from various Opposition parties took part in the meeting. The allegations leveled by the two leaders prompted a sharp response from the TMC.
Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said, “At a time when INDIA is planning how to defeat the BJP, Adhir Chowdhury and Mohd Salim are trying to make the BJP happy. They are basically agents of the BJP.”
The Dhupguri bypoll was necessitated due to the death of former BJP MLA Bishnu Pada Ray on July 25. The legislator died at Kolkata’s SSKM hospital following a cardiac arrest. The bypoll in the Rajbanshi-dominated seat will be held on September 5, with the counting of votes on September 8. The ruling Trinamool Congress has fielded Nirmal Chandra Roy, who is a professor at Dhupguri Girls College, as its candidate for the by-election, while the BJP has fielded Tapasi Roy, the widow of a CRPF jawan who was killed in a 2021 terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir.
– With PTI inputs
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