West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has declared that her party will form the next government in Tripura after the 2018 state polls, saying it was time for the Left Front regime to “quit” the state.
Banerjee is looking to expand Trinamool’s base outside West Bengal and it has already emerged as the principal opposition party in the Marxist bastion after six dissident Congress MLAs joined it last June.
The party wants to target Bengalis who form the largest ethnolinguistic group in the state with nearly about 70% of the population.
“The Bengal people dethroned the 34-year old Left Front government to form Trinamool Congress (Maa Maati Manush). Now, it is the turn of Tripura,” Banerjee, in a first ever public meeting in state capital Agartala, said on Tuesday.
“Banglay Maa-Mati Manush er Sarkar hoeche ebar Tripura teo hok,” she said in Bengali.
She told the audience at the Swami Vivekananda Stadium that Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement against the British on August 9, 1942, and it is not accidental that she is raising the slogan of ‘CPM Tripura chharo’ (CPM leave Tripura) on the same day.
Throughout her speech, the TMC chief criticised the Left Front regime for failing the people while comparing it with her government’s achievements in West Bengal.
“The Left Front has done nothing to bring development in any sector, be it in plain or hilly areas in these 23 years rather than giving false promises. The government even failed to set up a hospital that will provide good medical services here. In Bengal, the TMC government built 41 hospitals offering multi-special facilities,” the Bengal TMC chief said.
She also urged the youth to come forward and help her party form the government in the northeastern state by overthrowing the 23-year-old Left regime.
“Tripura and West Bengal are like twin brother and sister. So, the whole Bengal would support the Marxist-ruled state to bring a poribortan (change). The TMC will surely extend support to develop education, health, trade, industries and others,” she said.
The TMC supremo lashed out at the CPM and the Bharatiya Janata Party for taking credit for introducing the broad-gauge railway connecting Agartala and Delhi.
“Both the CPM and BJP are spreading rumours that they have introduced the railway project in Tripura. In reality, I took the initiative in 2010 as the railway minister. If I did not get the scope, more could be done for the state,” she said.
Banerjee said that the saffron party’s main agenda is to reign terror and issue advertisements.
“Let the party be in the advertisement, and let the TMC work for the people,” she said.
She said the TMC has the scope to strengthen its roots in the state with the new team comprising six former Congress MLAs led by Sudip Roy Barman.
Minister for sports and youth affairs Aroop Biswas, minister for urban development Firhad Hakim, minister for information and cultural affairs Indranil Sen, TMC vice-president Mukul Roy, who has been entrusting with expanding the party’s influence in the northeast, and other leaders were also present in the rally.
Samir Ranjan Barman, former chief minister and father of Sudip, was also seen on the dais with Banerjee. Samir Ranjan Barman still holds the Congress membership.