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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

Abhishek Banerjee calls Congress 'vote cutter' in Malda

In Malda, a district with around 50 per cent Muslims, the Trinamool leadership is apprehensive that its prospects will be jinxed by the Congress as the latter can draw votes of the minority community

Soumya De Sarkar Malda Published 02.05.24, 06:56 AM
Abhishek Banerjee speaks at the public meeting in Samsi, Malda, on Wednesday.

Abhishek Banerjee speaks at the public meeting in Samsi, Malda, on Wednesday. Picture by Soumya De Sarkar

Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that the Congress leadership in Bengal had foiled the INDIA bloc alliance in the state and termed the party as “vote katua” (vote cutters) in Malda, a district where Trinamool had never won in any Lok Sabha polls.

“The people of Malda should ensure Trinamool wins both seats (Malda Uttar and Malda Dakshin) for the first time. Since 1998, when our party was formed, we have never won any of the seats. This time, you should refrain from voting the Congress that is in the fray only to help the BJP,” said the Diamond Harbour MP.

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He was speaking at a public meeting on the Samsi College Ground in Malatipur,
campaigning for former IPS officer Prasun Banerjee who is contesting from the Malda Uttar seat.

In Malda, a district with around 50 per cent Muslims, the Trinamool leadership is apprehensive that its prospects will be jinxed by the Congress as the latter can draw votes of the minority community.

“We wanted the INDIA bloc formula to be implemented in Bengal. But PCC president Adhir Ranjan Choudhury foiled it. Yesterday, he publicly said it was better to vote
for the BJP than Trinamool. This proves his intentions. Who is trying to strengthen the BJP then?” asked Abhishek, the national general secretary of Trinamool.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had claimed that she had offered two seats to the Congress but the party rejected it and instead, forged ties with the CPM.

Earlier, in Raiganj — a Lok Sabha segment with around 50 per cent Muslims, Imran Ali Ramz, the Congress candidate, had come under Mamata’s onslaught.

“Like Raiganj, TMC is perturbed by the presence of Congress and Left candidates, especially Isha Khan Choudhury and Mohammand Salim, in Malda Dakshin and Murshidabad seats. That is why, TMC leaders are training guns at these two parties,” said a political observer.

In his speech, Abhishek also took on Union home minister Amit Shah for asking whether the people of Bengal wanted to see Abhishek as the chief minister, while alleging that Trinamool believed in dynasty politics.

“I don’t need any post…. I will continue to work for people. If Amit Shah wants me to step away from politics, he should defeat me in Diamond Harbour. Or else, he should release the funds which the Centre has halted,” said Mamata’s nephew.

He also referred to Trinamool’s performance in Malda in the 2021 Assembly elections when the party had won eight of 12 seats. “We want the trend to continue. The BJP MP here did nothing in the past five years and to ensure the BJP’s downfall, we have to be united. We cannot afford to divide votes or cast votes for the Congress,” he said.

Isha Khan Choudhury, the Congress candidate of Malda Dakshin seat, said it was not his party but Trinamool which was acting as a “vote cutter” in Malda. “In Malda, Congress has been winning Lok Sabha seats for the past 44 years. Where was the TMC then? The party has never won any seat here and yet, it fielded candidates. This proves the TMC is hand in gloves with BJP,” said Isha.

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