Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress is not limited to Bengal’s soil anymore and is now politically ready to go national and take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the Delhi stage, the party’s national general secretary and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee said Sunday.
The Diamond Harbour MP was addressing a public meeting at Paddapukur in the Bhabanipur assembly constituency, where Mamata is seeking election in a bypoll on 30 September.
“You are not merely voting for Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress. You will be voting for bringing change in Delhi in the coming days. And Bhabanipur is announcing the battle… On 30 September, you will not merely vote so that the Trinamool candidate wins. You will be voting for Trinamool to bring change in Delhi…,” Abhishek, considered Mamata Banerjee’s heir apparent in the party, said.
Speaking about the Trinamool Congress’ foray beyond Bengal, Abhishek said, “We have started work in Tripura recently. In Assam, we have started work; in the coming days, the Trinamool Congress is going to Goa too. Be ready… we are ready to take our political battles outside Bengal.”
Abhishek’s statement comes at a time when two senior Trinamool Congress leaders, Lok Sabha MP Prasun Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien, are in Goa to test the political waters before next year’s assembly elections.
Sources in the Trinamool Congress said the party is preparing to contest the 2022 Goa polls and is “exploring an alliance with like-minded Goan parties”.
“There is an opportunity in Goa for a significant alternative. Our leaders are on the ground reaching out to people and like-minded regional parties,” a Trinamool source said.
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‘Trinamool will bloom in Tripura’
The Trinamool Congress is also exploring possible alliances in Tripura. Teams of Trinamool workers, as well as members of political strategist Prashant Kishor’s Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) engaged by the party, have visited the state in the last two months to assess the political situation on the ground.
The Trinamool Congress has accused the BJP government in Tripura as well as the Modi government of attempts to stymie its outreach in the state, citing the house arrest of 23 I-PAC members and the police case filed against them for alleged Covid violations in July. They have also questioned the imposition of Section 144 in parts of Tripura.
Earlier this month, Abhishek Banerjee was also refused permission to hold a planned rally, with Tripura Police reportedly saying that “another party” had been granted permission to hold a rally on the same date and time.
“They imposed Section 144 so that I can’t enter Tripura but let me tell you the day you remove Section 144, within 24 hours, I will enter the state. In Tripura, Trinamool will come, the twin flower (Trinamool Congress symbol) will bloom…,” Abhishek said Sunday.
He added that in the three months since he was made the party’s national general secretary, he had received feelers from several states that the Trinamool should come and fight there. “People have written to us, emailed us that only Mamata Banerjee can take on Modi today,” he said.
“India is standing at a critical point today. There are 1,700 political parties, of which 5-6 are national parties. But the Trinamool is the only national party that has the spine to fight the BJP without losing its self-respect to outsiders,” he said.
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)
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