To counter BJP, Trinamool raises ‘outsider’ pitch

Bratya Basu.   | Photo Credit: Ashoke Chakrabarty

The Trinamool Congress on Friday alleged that “outsiders are running riot in West Bengal” as the BJP has brought in several leaders from other States and assigned responsibilities to various zones in the State.

Also read: BJP starts ‘Mission Bengal’ early

“Some outsiders from the BJP are running riot in Bengal. They do not know about Rabindranath [Tagore], do not know about Birsa Munda,” Minister and TMC leader Bratya Basu said.

Mr. Basu also drew references to the attack on the Vidyasagar statue during BJP leader Amit Shah’s road show in Kolkata during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and said targeting of Bengal was extension of such attacks. The TMC leader said attempts were being made to “belittle Bengal and Bengalis” and outsiders were trying to take control of the State.

Mr. Basu reminded the contribution of Bengalis to the freedom struggle and said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was trying to establish the pride of Bengalis at global level with her slogan ‘Biswa Bangla’.

The Trinamool leadership has been targeting BJP leaders including Mr. Amit Shah and BJP president J.P. Nadda and other Central BJP leaders visiting the State by referring to them as “Bahiragata” (outsiders).

Ms. Banerjee, who participated in Chhath Puja celebrations on the very day her party raised the “outsider” pitch, said she prayed that along with COVID-19, those who came to Bengal to incite riots should be defeated.

“As the electoral contest hots up in Bengal, it is increasingly becoming clear that the Trinamool will raise the outsider tag against the BJP in Bengal. The ruling party will also have an element of Bengali pride in its campaign,” political commentator Sabir Ahamed said.

The BJP was also quick to respond. Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh took a swipe at political strategist Prashant Kishor. “Which outsider are they talking about, I can sense that there is discontent in the Trinamool Congress against PK.”

Five zones

Mr. Ghosh said the party had divided the State into five organisational zones and the Central leaders who came to take a stock of the situation had already done their work and left. “Since the TMC is getting unnerved by the BJP, they are targeting us using outsider tag,” he added.

In another development, Mr. Ghosh sent a legal notice to Minister Jyotipriya Mulick for allegedly using unparliamentary language against him.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 8:18:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/to-counter-bjp-trinamool-raises-outsider-pitch/article33146174.ece

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