With an aim to hit back at the increasingly vicious campaign of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly Election 2021, state chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday held a roadshow at Bolpur in the Birbhum district.
Notably, this is the very place where Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah had conducted his own roadshow earlier this month on December 20.
Before addressing the rally at Jambuni in Bolpur, Mamata held a four-kilometre padayatra (long march) in the city, which started at 1 PM from the 'Lodge More' and ended at the 'Chourasta' area in Jambuni, from where the chief minister addressed her speech.
TMC workers and supporters had started preparing the stage for the party supremo's address since early in the morning. However, as the day progressed, a huge crowd gathered to hear the Chief Minister speak. Even police barricades seemed ineffective in controlling the massive crowd of people who had gathered.
'Party of outsiders' rhetoric
Iterating that the BJP is a "party of outsiders", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on this day asserted that the land of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore will never allow hate politics to triumph over secularism.
The address can be watched here, in a video clip posted by the official Twitter handle of the All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) on the social media website:
Banerjee, during the rally in Bolpur, branded Visva- Bharati Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty as a "BJP man", and said that he plans to destroy the rich heritage of the hallowed institution by "importing divisive and communal politics inside its campus".
Hitting out at Visva-Bharati VC, the feisty TMC boss said "attempts to destroy Tagore's cultural abode have to be resisted with all might".
"I feel bad when I see efforts are on to pursue communal politics at Visva-Bharati. The VC there is a BJP man, he is trying to tarnish the heritage of this institution by practising communal politics," the chief minister claimed.
'Sonar Bangla' jibe
"Those who don't respect Mahatma Gandhi and other icons of the country are talking of building 'Sonar Bangla' (Golden Bengal). Rabindranath Tagore has already created 'Sonar Bangla' several decades ago, all we need to do is to protect the place from the communal onslaught of the BJP," Banerjee said during her address, following a four-kilometre roadshow here.
Defections from TMC
Talking about the recent defections from the TMC, Banerjee said saffron camp may have bought a few MLAs, but it can never buy her party.
This is a developing story. Further details are awaited.