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Mamata Banerjee re-elected as TMC’s chairperson

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File photo: Twitter/@CMOfficeWB via PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File photo: Twitter/@CMOfficeWB via PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday was re-elected chairperson of the TrinamoolCongress unopposed. She appealedto all regional parties to come together and defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 general elections.

Addressing party functionaries and observers during the TMC’s organisational elections, Ms. Banerjee said that the BJP was her “main enemy”.

The TMC chief also targeted the Congress and said that she “felt sad” when the party did not put up a fight against the BJP. “We wanted all the parties against the BJP to come together but if someone does not listen to us, stands away with their arrogance, then, in the words of Gurudev RabindranathTagore, we will walk alone,” Ms. Banerjee said.

The TMC chairperson raised a host of issues at the gathering, ranging from the Union Budget, Padma awards, and Pegasus spyware in her speech, alternating between Bengali and Hindi.

Describing the Union Budget is a “big bluff” aimed at fooling the masses, Ms. Banerjee said that the allocation to the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) had been reduced, and that the Centre was focusing more on diamonds than basic necessities for the people in the Budget.

“Can you imagine allocation for 100-days work has been reduced and nobody is protesting?” Ms. Banerjee asked.

The Chief Minister said that if anyone protested against the Union Government, the Pegasus spyware is used against then. “The phones of Abhishek [Banerjee] and PK (Prashant Kishor) were bugged. We want justice on this. They want everyone to live in fear. But the people will rise against this,” Ms. Banerjee said.

The Chief Minister also took a veiled dig at the State’s Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. Without referringto his name, she said that Governor insisted on everyone following his instructions. Ms. Banerjee had on Monday said that she had blocked the Governor on Twitter.

The TMC chairperson said that her party was recognised as a national party in 2016 and that the party had finished the organisational polls before the stipulated period.

The TMC’s organisational elections were held at the Netaji Indoor stadium here, and observers from different sections of society were invited for the process.

Expressing hope that the Trinamool Congress will gradually gain ground in other States, Ms. Banerjee urged party leaders and workers to ensure that the party won all the 42 Lok Sabha seats fromWest Bengal. The Chief Minister also hinted that more BJP MLAs may defect to the TMC. “Seven or eight MLAs of the BJP want to join us. We will not ask anyone to join us by force,” she said, emphasising that the party will have to grow more in West Bengal.

Ms. Banerjee saidthat she would be visiting Uttar Pradesh later in February to support the SamajwadiParty andits leader Akhilesh Yadav.


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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 1:21:15 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mamata-banerjee-re-elected-trinamool-congress-chief-unopposed/article38363742.ece