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BJP to face Sri Lanka, Afghanistan-like protest by people: Abhishek Banerjee

TMC leader slams Centre for rising prices

July 12, 2022 08:32 pm | Updated 08:32 pm IST - Dhupguri (W.B.):

All India Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee. File

All India Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday, claiming that it will face Sri Lanka and Afghanistan-like protests by people because of the steady hike in fuel prices in the country.

While the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal is giving money in the hands of women through a scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking it away from them by raising cooking gas prices to nearly ₹1,100 per cylinder, he claimed.

Petrol and diesel prices are also rising steadily, he said.

"What happened in Sri Lanka and Afghanisthan, I believe the people of India will create a similar situation against the BJP," Mr. Banerjee said while addressing a public meeting in Dhupguri.

Protestors in crisis-hit Sri Lanka recently stormed into the official residences of the President and Prime Minister though they had left the houses before that. However, why Mr. Banerjee mentioned Afghanistan is not clear.

West Bengal won’t be divided till Mamata Banerjee is CM: Abhishek

Mr. Banerjee also said that those north Bengal leaders of the TMC because of whom voters turned away from the party in the last Lok Sabha and assembly elections will not get tickets in the next panchayat polls.

Referring to the demand for a separate State comprising the northern districts of West Bengal by a section of BJP leaders, Mr. Banerjee who is considered no. 2 in the Trinamool Congress asserted that nobody will dare to divide the State till Mamata Banerjee is the Chief Minister.

“Because of a few leaders, voters of north Bengal had turned away from the TMC in the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 assembly elections. The party has identified them and none of such people will be given tickets in the panchayat polls (due next year)," Abhishek Banerjee said.

The saffron party has fared well in those two elections in the northern districts such as Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar.

Seeking to project a clean image of the ruling party in the State, he said that one has to decide whether he will work for the Trinamool Congress or for his business as a contractor.

Allegations have come up in some areas about some TMC panchayat leaders making assets worth beyond their known sources of income.

No ticket on the basis of bank balance, he says

"No one will get (TMC) ticket for the panchayat elections on the basis of bank balance. It will be based on the certificate by people," Mr. Banerjee said, addressing a public meeting at Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri district in the northern part of the State.

He said he does not like the term ‘north Bengal’ as it appears that the region is different from the rest of the state.

"There is only West Bengal and no south or north. If anyone thinks of dividing Bengal, we will prevent it with the last drop of our blood," he said.

Demands for a separate State or Union territory for the northern part of the State have been raised by the BJP in the last several years alleging that the region did not have any development.

He claimed that the Left Front during its 34-year-long rule had done nothing for the development of north Bengal while the TMC, after coming to power in 2011, has bridged the gap to a large extent.

Admitting that the TMC’s leadership in the north Bengal districts has committed some errors, Mr. Banerjee said, "I have come to seek your pardon and to give you my word that I will visit these places regularly." Mr. Banerjee asked the TMC local leaders to walk the extra mile before the panchayat polls in all booth areas where the party fared poorly in the last assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

He asked them to bring report cards on their activities in the last one year following the assembly elections when they go to Kolkata for the July 21 martyrs' day rally of the TMC.

On BJP leaders' assertion that central funds should be stopped if the central scheme like the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna is renamed as Bangla Awas Yojana, he said that if a programme is being taken up in a Sstate, its name has to be there.

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