Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee addressed election rallies in Basirhat, Basarat and Dum Dum in North 24 Parganas on Wednesday.
Hindustan Times is reporting about the election rallies and meetings of various political leaders extensively under its Follow the Leader coverage.
As it happened: Highlights of Mamata’s speech in her three rallies - Basirhat, Barasat and Dum Dum.
- Mamata ends her speech at Dum Dum.
-- Congress and CPM are holding hands like young lovers.
- We don’t need to bring back a government (Left Front government) of power cuts and violence in Bengal.
- Opposition is burning with envy.
- Political parties like CPM, BJP and Congress have gone morally bankrupt.
- CPM, Congress and BJP have unknown sources of money in the name of party funds. Why is there no investigation against them?
- Mamata reaches Dum Dum.
- Mamata leaves for Dum Dum, her next rally venue.
Highlights of Mamata’s speech in Barasat
- Mamata ends her speech in Barasat.
- CPM leaders did nothing for 34 years. Now, they sit in air-conditioned TV studios only.
- Union government is taking away all our money. They are not giving us a single penny. This is a conspiracy against West Bengal.
- I could have put all CPM leaders behind bars.
- People are my biggest strength. People are the pillars of democracy.
- Comrades have become ‘Congreds’ (attacking Congress-Left alliance in West Bengal).
- We wanted the change, not revenge in state politics.
- Earlier, we had to fight against the Left forces. Now, we are fighting against the forces sitting in Delhi .
- Chit fund started in 1980s during the regime of the Left Front government.
- Mamata leaves for Barasat.
Highlights of Mamata’s speech in Basirhat
- Mamata ends her speech at Basirhat. Village women blow conch shells as she ends her speech.
- If the government’s earning is Rs 1.53 lakh crore and we have to pay back the Narendra Modi government in Delhi Rs 1.40 lakh crore, the money that the CPM government had taken as loan. How will we work? It’s loan amount taken by the CPM government, we haven’t taken the money.
- I have never done anything in life by betraying people.
- People are my biggest asset. They are my only family.
- I have no family of my own. I have nothing new to get, as long as I live I will work for people, be with people.
- Vote for Trinamool Congress in 2016 state assembly polls, but get prepared for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. We will throw BJP out of power from Centre.
- In 2011, with the change in power in West Bengal, people got back their democratic and political rights. But Bengal yet to get back its financial right.
- Still have to pay debts of Left Front government in Bengal.
- Bridges, roads, health centres, madrassas, stadiums, lots of works are being done in the state.
- I would be happy if my MLAs and candidates argue with me for the sake of development.
- Give lollipop to the opposition parties, don’t give them votes.
- Mamata introduces Dipendu Biswas (TMC candidate from Basirhat South) and ATM Abdullah (party candidate from Basirhat North).
Mamata, wearing white cotton sari with a badge of Trinamool Congress, reaches Basirhat.
People gathered at Murarishah Chowmatha ground.
People gathered at Mamata’s election rally venue in Basirhat.
ATM Abdullah, Trinamool Congress candidate from Basirhat North
Dipendu Biswas, Trinamool Congress candidate from Basirhat South talks about the local issues.
Banerjee has easily emerged as the most widely travelled politician in West Bengal in the run-up to and during the assembly elections. She is scheduled to address over 100 public meetings in a month between the first and last phase of the polls.
For she has much at stake. She is aiming for a second stint in power and finds herself in a situation that can be described as the most important political challenge to Banerjee, the administrator.
Basirhat North and Basirhat South come under North 24 Parganas which is the second most populous district in India after Thane in Maharashtra and shares border with Bangladesh. It is a riverine-border and is known for its high rate of infiltration.
Basirhat North and Basirhat South have 2.3 lakh and 2.4 lakh voters respectively. They are among the 49 assembly constituencies that will go to polls on April 25 - the fourth phase of the assembly elections.
The Left ruled over Basirhat North since 1977 and it was only in 2011 that the TMC swept it. The sitting TMC member of legislative assembly ATM Abdulla is contesting from this constituency.
His main rivals are Left Front-Congress alliance candidate Rafikul Islam and Tarfan Ali Gazi who is fighting on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket.
In Basirhat South, the ruling party has pitted former India football skipper Dipendu Biswas. The only BJP MLA Samik Bhattacharya is from this constituency.
She addressed another public rally at Barasat Kachari Maidan at Barasat where Union home minister Rajnath Singh had campaigned with the BJP is trying to make political inroads in these minority pockets riding on the strong anti-Muslim sentiments.
TMC has fielded Tollywood filmstar Chiranjeet Chakraborty – the sitting MLA – from Barasat Kachari Maidan. His rivals are Sanjib Chatterjee from Forward Bloc (Left-Congress alliance) and BJP’s Bithika Mondal.
Later in the day, the CM addressed her third rally at Dum Dum Central Jail Maidan under Dum Dum assembly constituency. State tourism minister Bratya Basu won from this constituency in 2011 defeating CPIM heavy-weight Gautam Deb.
Basu has been pitted against the Left Front-Congress alliance candidate Palash Das and according to an opinion poll, he is likely to win. Uma Das Singha is the BJP candidate from this seat.
Dum Dum was originally a Left stronghold and the TMC first won from this constituency in 2001. In 2006, the Banerjee-led party was defeated only to win again in 2011.