Kolkata: What is Nabanna Chalo & why is BJP protesting against the TMC

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 05:35 PM IST
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Nabanna Chalo: Suvendu Adhikari detained, says 'Mamata turned Bengal into North Korea' | ANI

Kolkata Police has detained Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari and MP Locket Chatterjee ahead of Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) protest march to state secretariat 'Nabanna' on Tuesday. The BJP leaders were detained from Hastings in Kolkata when they were leading the Nabanna Chalo Abhiyan. Adhikari, Chatterjee and BJP leader Rahul Sinha were taken to Kolkata Police headquarters in Lalbazar.

The Core Issue

In the recent times large amount of cash was recovered in West Bengal. In July, the Enforcement Directorate recovered nearly Rs 50 crore cash, besides gold, property documents and foreign currency from the then West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee's aide Arpita Chatterjee.

More recently Rs 17 crore cash was recovered from businessman Amir Khan in the Garden Reach area of Kolkata. After a search operation conducted at six locations over an alleged case of mobile gaming app called E-Nuggets.

'Nabanna Abhijan/ Nabanna Chalo'

This gave the main opposition party in West Bengal, the BJP, a chance to raise the issue. Taking the opportunity, the opposition decided to launch a the 'Nabanna Abhijan' (march to secretariat) to protest against alleged corrupt practices of the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal.

The Strategy

BJP supporters from across West Bengal started arriving in Kolkata and neighbouring Howrah on Tuesday morning to take part in Nabanna Abhijan.

The BJP hired several trains - three from north Bengal and four from south Bengal - to bring its party members and supporters from different parts of the state to the metropolis and Howrah for the march.

Traffic restrictions have been put in place along several key stretches of the city in view of the Nabanna Abhijan.

Barricades have also been placed on the Second Hooghly Bridge, which connects the metropolis with Nabanna, a police officer said.

BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh is expected to lead the procession from north Kolkata, while leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari will be part of the rally from Santragachi area. Party state president Sukanta Majumdar is likely to join the procession in north Kolkata.

The saffron camp has been taking out rallies across the state for the past couple of days, asking party workers to make the 'Nabanna Abhijan' a grand success.

Opposition Charges

“The TMC government is scared of public uprising. Even if they try stop our protest march, we will resist peacefully. The state administration will be responsible for any untoward development,” Ghosh asserted.

BJP leader Rahul Sinha, meanwhile, accused the Mamata Banerjee government of trying to forcibly stop the “democratic protest”.

“Our supporters were prevented from boarding a special train from Alipurduar to Sealdah on Monday evening and even lathi-charged by the state police. The train left later with our activists and supporters,” Sinha said.

WB Govt Defence

Trinamool Congress spokesperson Joy Prakash Majumdar, however, said the BJP is attempting to create disturbance in the city for its “narrow, partisan politics”.

“We urge everyone not to fall in their trap,” he said.

State urban development & municipal affairs minister and Kolkata mayor, Firhad Hakim said that the leaders of the opposition are resorting to such theatrics, understanding that their party has no mass base in West Bengal. “In BJP, there are only leaders and no workers. So, a party without any worker can never generate mass support. BJP is a worthless party which is surviving just by using some central agencies,” Hakim said.

Original Nabanna Abhijan

The first Nabanna Abhijan was launched on February 11, 2021, by the Students Federation of India (SFI), Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), Left Front and other Left parties and student organisations against the alleged failures of the TMC-led Government of West Bengal. Even that march led to a conflict between the police and protesters. Unemployment was one of the major issues of this protest.

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