Mamata kickstarts TMC’s campaign from BJP stronghold, vows to win panchayats

West Bengal CM launches TMC’s campaign for panchayat polls, targeting BJP’s stronghold and promising transparent governance.

Kolkata | Updated: 26 June, 2023 4:24 pm IST

KOLKATA: In a strategic move to secure popular support, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee embarked on her maiden campaign for the upcoming panchayat polls from BJP’s stronghold in North Bengal.

Making history, the TMC supremo took to the stage in Coochbehar, emphasizing her party’s determination to win the panchayats and eradicate corruption. This marked Banerjee’s first-ever campaign for the three-tier panchayat elections, strategically targeting areas considered to be TMC’s weak holds.

Addressing the crowd at Coochbehar’s Chandamari Prannath High School, Banerjee declared, “We will take charge of the panchayats to ensure that no one can steal from the people. Do not give a single penny to anyone. The government does not demand any payment for its schemes.”

In a direct attack on the BJP-led central government, Banerjee criticized their allocation of funds, stating, “They travel to America to please others, to Russia to purchase planes, and to France for the same purpose. Yet, they fail to distribute the hard-earned money of my fellow citizens through schemes like MGNREGA. This is the result of BJP’s double engine government.”

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Banerjee began her speech by recounting a recent incident in which a man was allegedly shot by the Border Security Force (BSF). Expressing her concern for the affected families, she highlighted previous instances of violence, including the Sitalkuchi incident, where four people were shot dead.

The chief minister urged them to voice their concerns rather than remaining silent, stating, “If they scare you, file a complaint. Do not sit back at home.”

BJP leader Samik Bhattacharya, speaking to The New Indian, stated, “The selected representatives of the TMC failed to engage with their respective electoral areas. They avoided crucial questions from the people, and even TMC members themselves displayed anger towards their representatives. The CM’s well-planned meeting also fell short. Eventually, she had to dispatch her heir with a security contingent of 3,000 police personnel to select TMC’s candidate, but he returned with damaged campaign materials. Observing these events, she felt compelled to campaign for the Panchayat polls.”

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Bhattacharya asserted, “However, these efforts will prove futile as the people are determined to reject the TMC. The grassroots abandonment is inevitable.”

Following the “Jono Joar Yatra,” which commences on June 27, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee will lead the campaign in Nadia district. A total of 50 TMC leaders will campaign for the panchayat elections over the next ten days. Polling for approximately 75,000 seats in the panchayati raj system, comprising 3,317 gram panchayats, 22 zilla parishads with 928 seats, 9,730 panchayat samiti seats, and 63,229 gram panchayat seats, is scheduled for July 8.

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