Lok Sabha elections 2019- But for us, Bengal would not have got rid of Left misrule: Mamata
The Left Front ruled West Bengal for 34 years from 1977 to 2011, when the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool stormed into power.Updated: Apr 15, 2019 16:45 IST
Hindustan Times, Kolkata/Berhampore
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday the Left would not have been uprooted from the state if she had not formed the Trinamool Congress by breaking away from the Congress party.
Mamata Banerjee made the comments in Baharampur as she launched a no-holds-barred attack against Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Congress candidate from the parliamentary constituency.
“We (TMC leaders) were all in the Congress. If we had not quit the Congress to form TMC in 1998, the people of the state would not have become free from the misrule of the Left Front. The Congress would have never launched a movement to unseat the Left,” said Mamata.
The Left Front ruled West Bengal for 34 years from 1977 to 2011, when the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool stormed into power.
Mamata Banerjee shares a somewhat ambivalent relationship with the Congress, pillorying it publicly most of the time, especially in her state, but also sharing the anti-BJP space with India’s oldest party on the national scene.
On January 19, Mamata had welcomed Congress leaders in the opposition unity show she organised in Kolkata.
“The Baharampur MP engages in a lot of tall talks. But in the morning, he is with the BJP, in the afternoon he is with the Congress and in the evening, he follows the Communist Party of India (Marxist),” alleged the chief minister while speaking at a public rally in Beldanga that is under Baharamur Lok Sabha constituency.
“I want to emphasise both he and the Congress candidate from Jangipur are getting support from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS),” she said.
In 2014, Chowdhury secured 50.54% of the votes and won with a margin of 356,567 that was the biggest for any Congress candidate that year. That was also the fourth time he won in on the trot from Baharampur.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit Mukherjee is the Congress candidate from Jangipur. Abhijit Mukherjee won the seat after his father vacated it in 2012 and was successful again in the Lok Sabha election in 2014.
Mamata Banerjee also mentioned that Pranab Mukherjee had visited the RSS’ office and that “RSS pracharaks are working for them (Abhijit and Adhir)”.
The Trinamool chief also mentioned that her party’s candidate Apurba Sarkar in Baharampur was once a Congress leader.
“Apurba was with the Congress for many years. But eventually, he quit the party since the Congress got sold to the Left and the BJP,” she remarked.
“Don’t waste your vote by casting it in favour of Congress that is a friend of the BJP,” she urged the voters.
Describing her comments as “infantile”, Chowdhury said he would not comment at all. Abhijit Mukherjee could not be reached as his phone was switched off.
Congress legislator and leader of the opposition in state assembly Abdul Mannan said the heat was playing tricks with her mind.
“How can Mamata Banerjee, who paved the way for the rise of the RSS and BJP in Bengal by allying with them after setting up the TMC, comment against Abhijit and Adhir? She likes imagining many things. The heat is also searing and she must have lost her mind,” Mannan retorted.
On the other hand, in the neighbouring district of Malda, Congress candidate of Malda North constituency Isha Khan Choudhury stopped campaigning from Monday following attacks on a meeting in his favour in Chanchal 1 block on Sunday evening.
“A group of 15-20 supporters of the TMC, attacked our meeting and smashed microphones and chairs. They also beat up our workers,” Congress’ Malda district unit president Mostak Alam alleged.
Polling in Baharampur will be held on April 29 in the fourth round of the seven phased-Lok Sabha election. West Bengal is voting in all the seven phases and result will be declared on May 23.
First Published: Apr 15, 2019 16:28 IST