Senior Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee on Wednesday asserted that his party will not be cowed down by the BJP’s “intimidation tactics” and it will ensure that the country is “freed from the shackles of the authoritarian duo sitting in Delhi” in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The TMC national general secretary, who is also the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, also condemned the arrest of several party leaders and workers in Tripura for allegedly violating COVID-19 norms and taking part in the TMC Martyrs’ Day programme in the northeastern state.
“We will not be cowed down by the threats and intimidation of the BJP. We need to ensure that India becomes free from the shackles of the authoritarian duo sitting in Delhi,” the Diamond Harbour MP said, without elaborating on whom he referred to as the “duo”. “I want to thank the leaders of various political parties who attended our event. We all need to fight together against the authoritarian regime. The TMC will fight under the guidance of Mamata Banerjee. West Bengal will be the beacon for the country,” he said, while concluding the programme after the TMC supremo’s speech.
The parliamentarian, who was appointed as the party’s national general secretary after its massive victory in this year’s assembly elections, played a major role in ensuring that the annual Martyrs’ Day event was a gala programme and beamed live in various parts of the country. He has been given the charge of expanding the party’s base across the country.
“We strongly condemn the attack on @AITCofficial supporters in @BJP4India ruled states. We will NOT be cowed down by such intimidation tactics! On #ShahidDibas, let me reiterate that TRINAMOOL will not budge an inch in its fight against the oppressive forces. COME WHAT MAY!” he tweeted. After the party’s massive victory for the third consecutive term, the TMC has vowed to spread its wings in other states to achieve a pan-India presence, and the Martyrs’ Day event was used to boost its national footprint.
The virtual address was not only addressed by leaders of various parties, including the NCP, Congress, Shiv Sena and Samajwadi Party, but was also aired live in states like Punjab, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, New Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and poll-bound Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. Several senior TMC leaders were sent to these states to take part in the live streaming programmes.
“We are in Uttar Pradesh today to spread the message of Mamata Banerjee for restoration of democracy in the country. The Samajwadi Party has supported us during the assembly polls. They are our allies. The BJP has to be defeated in both UP and across the country at any cost,” TMC chief whip in Rajya Sabha, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, said. Banerjee’s speech was telecasted on giant screens across West Bengal, and also in other states.
In West Bengal, the speech was telecasted as delivered by Banerjee, who spoke in English, Hindi and Bengali, while in other states, it was translated into local languages. In Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s home turf Gujarat, where assembly elections are due in 2022, the TMC aired Banerjee’s speech on giant screens in several districts in Gujarati.
Graffiti and posters projecting Banerjee as ‘Amma’, a sobriquet attached to late AIADMK leader Jayalalitha, have come up in Chennai, as the TMC tries to make inroads into the southern states with its first foray being in Tamil Nadu. Also, the party’s mouthpiece ‘Jago Bangla’ became a daily from weekly from Wednesday.