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TMC could have given tough fight in Tripura but suffered due to traitor, says Mamata

Mamata Banerjee was referring to TMC general secretary and former railway minister Mukul Roy who switched over to the BJP in November.

kolkata Updated: Jan 31, 2018 23:28 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Mamata Banerjee,Trinamool Congress,Left Front
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee interacts with media after presentation of the State Budget 2018-19 in the Assembly, in Kolkata on Wednesday.(PTI Photo)

 The Trinamool Congress could have given the ruling Left Front a tough fight in the Tripura assembly elections but the plan was ruined by a traitor who joined the BJP, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said at a party meeting in Kolkata on Wednesday.

TMC general secretary and former railway minister Mukul Roy had switched over to the BJP in November last year.

The Tripura polls are scheduled on February 18. The TMC had six MLAs in the state, all of whom joined the BJP in August.

“The first reason why we are unable to contest Tripura polls properly is due to a lack of funds. We were able to establish our organisational network in Tripura earlier. But because of a traitor who joined the BJP, we suffered a setback,” Banerjee said at the party’s extended core committee meeting. Incidentally, all the six MLAs had defected from the Congress to Trinamool.

There is a feeling that Roy, who was responsible for bringing the six legislators to the TMC earlier from Congress, also engineered their defection to BJP. The switch jolted Banerjee’s plans to make it big in Tripura, a natural choice for her. The state also has a Left Front government, her principal political opponent.

Banerjee also announced that the TMC will organise protest demonstrations on every weekend on three national issues — farmers’ suicide in Maharashtra, Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI), and inflation.

In Wednesday’s meeting that was telecast live, Banerjee said that people have realised that her government cannot adopt any policy that will hurt them.

“By now, people have realised that at least their ‘didi’ will not adopt any policy that will hurt the interest of the common people. So as long as the people’s confidence is there with me and Trinamool Congress, I am not scared of any negative propaganda,” she said.

Banerjee also cautioned some of her party leaders against factional feuds and said if these continue, she will not hesitate to take action against them. She was especially stern against two leaders — Trinamool MLA from Canning (East), Saokat Molla, and party MLA from Gosaba, Jayanta Naskar. “Peace is everywhere expect the belt consisting of Basanti, Canning and Gosaba. I am warning Naskar and Saokat.. Settle your differences. Otherwise I will be forced to remove you from your positions,” she said.

First Published: Jan 31, 2018 23:27 IST