West Bengal: Ahead of rural polls, TMC launches new mass outreach campaign

Opposition parties criticised the TMC over the new outreach programme, claiming that the ruling party is trying to fool people ahead of the panchayat polls.

PTIUpdated: Monday, January 02, 2023, 08:42 PM IST
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CM Mamata Banerjee at the launch of her party's mass outreach programme. | AITC's Twitter

Claiming that 99 per cent of the people of West Bengal were covered by state government schemes, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday launched a new mass outreach campaign of Trinamool Congress to check if people get benefits from the projects.

The party also launched a mobile app, 'Didir Doot' (Didi's messenger), to record feedback from beneficiaries of the projects ahead of the panchayat polls due this year.

TMC launches Didir Suraksha Kavach initiative

Under the "Didir Suraksha Kavach" (Didi's Protective Shield) initiative, around 3.5 lakh volunteers of the ruling Trinamool Congress will reach out to approximately 10 crore people of the state in 60 days starting January 11.

Opposition parties criticised the TMC over the new outreach programme, claiming that the ruling party is trying to fool people ahead of the panchayat polls.

'Duare Sarkar' has solved many issues: Mamata

"We have covered around 99 per cent of the people through our welfare schemes. 'Duare Sarkar' has resolved many of the existing issues. The government will do its job, but some complaints have also been received at the party level," Banerjee told a press conference here.

'Duare Sarkar' is an initiative of the state government for delivery of specific schemes at the doorsteps of the people.

'New campaign to help leaders connect with people'

This "Didir Suraksha Kavach" initiative will help leaders connect with the people and hear their problems, she said.

"There is a possibility that some family members may not know how to apply. Our workers will assist them," she said.

The TMC boss, however, asserted that the campaign was not planned with an eye on the panchayat election.

"Unlike others, our decisions are not influenced by elections. We are not the ones who give free ration for six months before elections and stop it immediately after polls," she said.

Never indulged in destructive politics when we were in opposition: Mamata

Banerjee slammed the opposition for allegedly spreading canards against the state government.

"We have never indulged in destructive politics during our tenure in opposition," she said.

The campaign has been designed to cover six core sectors that are essential for the care and sustenance of human life and ensure that all residents can avail of benefits from the listed 15 welfare schemes of the state.

3 lakh workers to reach out to people in new campaign: Abhishek Banerjee

During the launch, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee said, "State-level party leaders will spend a day each at gram panchayats and urban local bodies across the State."

Then, over 3.5 lakh booth workers or 'Didir Doots' (Messengers of Didi) will take the 'Suraksha Kavach' to nearly two crore households across the state, he said.

People will be informed about the schemes covered under the Suraksha Kawach and their feedback will be recorded on the 'Didir Doot' mobile application, he said.

The programme came at a time when the TMC is battling CBI and ED and the opposition parties over allegations of corruption in school jobs, cattle smuggling scam and coal pilferage cases, which kept the party leadership busy last year both inside courtrooms and also on the streets.

Opposition slams TMC's outreach programme

"This is just another attempt to fool the people ahead of the panchayat polls. But it won't yield any result," Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP said.

State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that it is "another bluff" by the ruling TMC.

Senior CPI (M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said, "Even a child would laugh at the claim of the chief minister that TMC pursued constructive politics. The memories of TMC destroying furniture of the state assembly in 2006 are still fresh in our memories," he said

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