TMC to set up working units in 15 states in next one year: Abhishek Banerjee
The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal will expand its base in five states other than Goa and Tripura, where the party has already begun building a presence, in the next three months and plans to set up working units in at least 15 states within the next one year, party chief Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee said on Saturday.
“We have already reached Tripura and Goa. The party will expand its base in five other states, including Uttar Pradesh and Meghalaya, in the next three months. In the next one year, we will set up working units in 12 to 15 states. There will be a contest in Goa, Gujarat, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh,” said Abhishek Banerjee.
He was addressing a campaign rally at Khardah in North 24 Parganas where by-elections will be held along with three other assembly seats in West Bengal on October 30. Earlier in the day he held another rally at Gosaba in South 24 Parganas.
This comes just ahead of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s maiden two-day visit to the poll-bound state of Goa from October 28.
“As I prepare for my maiden visit to Goa on the 28th, I call upon all individuals, organisations and political parties to defeat the BJP and their divisive agenda. The people have suffered enough over the last 10 years,” Banerjee tweeted.
Earlier in June this year, after being appointed as the party’s national general secretary, Abhishek Banerjee announced that the party would expand its base in other states to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The party has already made inroads into Tripura and announced steering and youth committees for its unit in the north-eastern state with an eye on the assembly polls scheduled for 2023.
The TMC MP from Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas also upped the ante against the BJP ahead of the by-polls while playing the ‘outsider card’ once again, which had given them rich dividends during the assembly polls.
“Amit Shah had made several promises while addressing a public rally at Gosaba in March ahead of the assembly polls. But after the BJP lost did you see a single BJP leader from Delhi and Madhya Pradesh? Did they come to help you after Cyclone Yaas hit? No, because they were outsiders,” he added.
Though the BJP’s top leadership including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah had claimed that the party would win more than 200 seats in the West Bengal assembly polls, it was the TMC which returned to power for the third time in a row winning 213 out of the 292 seats. Later it won two more seats in by-polls. The party is now eying all the four assembly seats where by-polls will be held later this month.
“Five BJP legislators have already joined the TMC. If we open our doors the BJP (in West Bengal) would be wiped out the next day. But we are not allowing any traitors to join the TMC. We have kept our doors shut. Those who have joined were allowed to do so after lot of atonement,” he added.
The BJP, however, said that the TMC may embark upon political tourism but the BJP won’t call them ‘outsiders’.
“They are acting like private companies and business houses and not like a political party. We have never heard any political party saying that they would open offices in other states. This is nothing but political tourism. They may go to any state to refresh themselves. The BJP won’t consider them outsiders as they are all Indians,” said Samik Bhattacharya, BJP spokesperson in West Bengal.
The TMC also attacked the Congress saying that it has no ideals left. This is, however, not the first time that Mamata Banerjee or Abhishek Banerjee had attacked the Congress even after Congress president Sonia Gandhi held a virtual meeting with 19 ‘like-minded’ non-BJP parties on August 20. Mamata Banerjee had attended the meeting.
“The Congress sometimes made settlements with the BJP to defeat the TMC, while sometimes it formed alliances with the CPIM and the Indian Secular Front. The party has no ideal and hence has no place in Bengal. For the last seven years, the Congress has been losing against the BJP. The TMC is winning against the BJP.