Bengal Rural Polls: Trinamool's Abhishek Banerjee Calls BJP "Outsiders"

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Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday urged party workers to fight against “outsiders who think that they can win the upcoming panchayat polls in West Bengal and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections by using central forces”.

Banerjee described the BJP as a party of “outsiders having no understanding about the people of the state”.

He also claimed that the BJP’s campaign in the 2021 assembly polls had backfired with a rise in votes for the ruling TMC.

“Mark my words, the BJP will be defeated everywhere in the panchayat polls and also in the Lok Sabha elections next year. In every segment of the assembly and Lok Sabha seats, a higher number of people will vote for us and discard the BJP,” the senior TMC leader said at a public rally at Falta in his Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency in South 24 Parganas district.

Referring to demand by several BJP leaders for conducting panchayat polls by the deployment of central forces, he said, “It will be a mistake if someone believes that engagement of central forces will make one’s win possible. You (BJP) have central forces but we have people’s support. We bank on the masses who are our support system.

“We don’t have to depend on outsiders who come before elections to campaign but don’t stand by the people during their need,” Banerjee said while presenting a ‘report card’ of his party’s performance on development work in his constituency.

In a dig at the opposition BJP and also the CPIM and the Congress, Banerjee said, “You may keep spreading misinformation and false campaign against our party on the filing of nominations of candidates in panchayat polls. Can you deny that 1.5 lakh nominations were filed by the opposition parties, while 83,000 were from the TMC? So the charge is baseless.” Widespread violence over the filing of nominations for the July 8 panchayat polls has left five people dead and several injured in various parts of the state.

Referring to the Enforcement Directorate’s recent move to stop his wife to leave the country in connection with a coal pilferage case, Banerjee said, “You (BJP-led government at the Centre) are harassing my family, but you cannot stop me from my political activities by such vendetta politics.” Rujira Banerjee, wife of Abhishek, was allegedly stopped from boarding a UAE-bound flight citing a “lookout” notice by the Enforcement Directorate earlier this month. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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