West Bengal

West Bengal Assembly elections | Crucial to defeat TMC to stop BJP, say Left, Cong leaders at Kolkata rally

Congress leader and West Bengal party president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Leaders of the Left and Congress who addressed a historic joint rally at the Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata on Sunday, said it was necessary to defeat the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal to stop the BJP.

Joining the Left and Congress leaders at the dias was Abbas Siddique, the peer of the iconic Furfura Shareef and founder of the Indian Secular Front (ISF), a recent member of the opposition alliance in the State.

Communist Party of India ( Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said without removing the Trinamool Congress it was difficult to defeat the BJP; West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee have “same political DNA”.

Similar ideologies

“It is difficult to differentiate between Modi and Mamata. Both are stifling democracy. While Modi says Congress Mukt Bharat (Congress free India), Didi here says opposition-less Bengal,” Mr. Chowdhury said.

Highlighting the association of the Trinamool Congress with the BJP both in terms of contesting polls and joining government, Mr. Yechury said people of the State do not want a government that indulges in loot and divides people on caste and religion.

Both Mr Yechury and Mr Chowdhury exuded confidence that the people of the State want “change (parivartan)” and said the “ grand alliance of the Left and Congress, with other secular forces, would defeat the TMC and the BJP”.

Senior Congress leaders, including Jitin Prasad and Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel were also present at the rally as were leaders of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Revolutionary Socialist Party and All India Forward Bloc.

General secretary of CPI D. Raja said the presence of such a large number of people at the meeting should send a strong message to both TMC and BJP. “BJP is destroying the secular fabric of India. Both BJP and TMC must be defeated,” he said.

‘Mamata threatened’

Addressing the gathering, the ISF chief said said the person feeling most threatened today is Chief Minister Banerjee.

The young religious leader of the iconic shrine that wields great influence over Muslims in south Bengal, described the Trinamool Congress as the “team of the BJP” and urged his supporters to ensure that Mamata Banerjee’s party should be brought to ‘a zero’ this Assembly polls.

Along with large number of supporters of Left and Congress, the rally saw several ISF supporters cementing the alliance that was announced only a few weeks ago.

The massive turnout at the first joint opposition rally is significant since the vote share of the Left and Congress has steadily declined. However, according to political observers, the presence of the ISF opens the possibility of triangular contests. As per the last available census Muslims comprise 27.01 % of State’s population and they have been supporting TMC over the past several elections.

Responding to the rally, senior Trinamool Congress leader Subrata Mukherjee said it is a matter of regret that the Left, and Congress have allied with ISF which is a “communal force”.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 11:54:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/west-bengal-assembly/west-bengal-assembly-elections-left-cong-grand-alliance-will-defeat-tmc-bjp-says-adhir-ranjan-chowdhury/article33954413.ece

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