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Trinamul ‘doubts’ BJP help on bailout

Rajnath Singh

Calcutta, May 22: The Trinamul Congress today expressed “doubt” over the BJP’s “sincerity” in backing the ruling party’s demand for a central economic package for debt-ridden Bengal, saying the attempt was “an eyewash”.

“We doubt the BJP’s sincerity in backing our demand for an economic package for the state because none had come forward to stand by us when we all sat on a dharna near the Gandhi statue in Parliament house,” Trinamul MP from south Calcutta Subrata Bakshi told The Telegraph this afternoon.

He was reacting to former BJP president Rajnath Singh’s announcement at a public rally in Calcutta yesterday “My party will back Trinamul MPs in Parliament if they raise the issue concerning the bailout package for debt-ridden Bengal,” Singh had said.

A Trinamul general-secretary today said Singh’s offer was an attempt “to re-energise BJP’s beleaguered organisation in Bengal” before the panchayat polls next year.

“The state BJP chose Calcutta to make such an announcement because the leadership wanted to send a positive message to people here by sharing our concern over Bengal’s financial crisis. This is nothing but an attempt to re-energise the party by reaching out to people before the panchayat polls,” the leader said.

A BJP leader in Bengal echoed the Trinamul leader, saying Singh’s observations would help his party gain political space in the state.

“The BJP does not have a single MLA or MP in Bengal. But Rajnathji’s announcement to stand by Trinamul on their demand for an economic package would help us send a message to people here that we, too, are concerned over the state’s prevailing economic state of affairs. This might help us reap dividends during the panchayat polls,” he observed.