Election English

After Goa, Mamata to head for Tripura in December

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister and Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, who toured Assembly election-bound Goa last week, will visit another poll-bound state, Tripura, in December to expand her party’s network there to challenge the BJP.

This was announced by her MP nephew Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday at a TMC rally in Agartala that was allowed by the Tripura high court on Saturday night after rejecting the Biplab Deb government’s objections.

He said: “Ms Banerjee will come here in December this year. She will also address a rally at Vivekananda Ground then. I will also be there. Tripura needs only one vaccine which is called Mamata Banerjee. Yesterday we won in court. Now we will also win the vote. I will camp here for a year upto February in 2023 to ensure the end of the BJP’s rule. Biplab Deb is a big flop.”

Mr Banerjee’s rally became a hit as Surma (Dhalai) MLA Ashish Das, who had quit the BJP and shaved his head for atonement in Kolkata before Durga Puja, joined the TMC in his presence.

Mr Das said: “The BJP made a lot of promises while coming to power in Tripura in 2018. But the promises remained unfulfilled. The present BJP has only one per cent of the old guard while the rest is from other parties who are looting the state. I protested against it, but in vain. This autocratic government must go from power in 2023.”

Elated over his induction into the TMC, Mr Banerjee claimed: “What happened today is Khuti Puja. What will happen in the February of 2023 is the immersion of the BJP. Many MLAs are in touch with me. If I press the switch once, 15 of them will jump to our side at a time. But we do not want to follow the steps of the BJP. We will come here in power with a mandate.”

The BJP received yet another blow as TMC turncoat Rajib Banerjee made a “ghar wapsi” at the same event. He had got a promotion in the BJP just weeks before when he was given a berth in the party’s national executive committee. The former minister had joined the BJP in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah at his New Delhi residence just nine months ago.

He said: “I was misled earlier. That is why I made a mistake then. I repent for it. I have rectified myself. There is no harm in admitting my own fault. Mr Banerjee tried to convince me of my fault. Had I realised it, I would have been in a better position to serve the people now.”

Mr Banerjee’s return to the TMC, however, instantly triggered a backlash as three-time party MP from Serampore Kalyan Banerjee called him “top to bottom corrupt”.

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