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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

Abhishek Banerjee urges tribals to vote Trinamool Congress, not uniform civil code

While cautioning tribal population against BJP’s stratagems and wooing them in Jhargram, Abhishek urged them to vote for Mamata Banerjee, saying only she could be the saviour of the community and protect their interest

Subhasish Chaudhuri Calcutta Published 20.05.24, 05:50 AM
Abhishek Banerjee with Trinamool candidate Dipak Adhikari aka Dev in Ghatal on Sunday 

Abhishek Banerjee with Trinamool candidate Dipak Adhikari aka Dev in Ghatal on Sunday 

Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday reaffirmed the party’s opposition to the BJP’s proposal to introduce the contentious uniform civil code and urged tribals not to vote for the saffron camp, warning them that they would be the biggest sufferers if the UCC were to be implemented.

Speaking at an election rally in Nayagram in the Jungle Mahal under the Jhargram Lok Sabha constituency in support of party candidate Kalipada Soren, Abhishek alleged that the BJP is “anti-tribal” and has been conspiring to create internal tussles among the tribal communities for political interest.

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“The BJP has begun a dirty game...,” Abhishek said.

While cautioning the tribal population against the BJP’s stratagems and wooing them in Jhargram, where Trinamool lost to BJP in 2019 by 11,700 votes, Abhishek urged them to vote for Mamata Banerjee, saying only she could be the saviour of the community and protect their interest.

“You check the way Mamata Banerjee has stood by you with all her welfare schemes. Even the amount of Lakshmir Bhandar has also increased to 1,200 for the women belonging to the tribal communities. On the other hand, the Modi government has been cheating you,” he said.

Expressing concern about the uniform civil code and cautioning the community about it, the Diamond Harbour MP said, “If the UCC is introduced, people belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes would be the biggest sufferers. They (the BJP) would totally abolish the reservation system.”

“The BJP has been desperately trying to change the Constitution. The party is against the fundamental rights of the people which were ensured by the Constitution committee headed by B.R. Ambedkar,” Abhishek added.

Before his speech at the meeting, the outgoing BJP MP from Jhargram Kunar Hembram joined Trinamool taking the party flag from Abhishek, and alleged that the BJP was never concerned about the development of the tribals.

Joining Trinamool, Kunar said that he would work for the development of the state under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee.

“On the day Narendra Modi is holding sabhas in Bengal, BJP’s outgoing MP Kunar Hembram joins TMC in the presence of Abhishek Banerjee,” TMC said in an official statement.

The BJP, however, downplayed Kunar’s exit as an “anticipated” one. Kunar, who was denied re-nomination by the BJP, had expressed desire to leave the party, sources said. The BJP has nominated Pranata Kundu, a physician, this time for the Jharkhand Lok Sabha seat.

The party’s chief Bengal spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said: “Kunar Hembram’s departure will not affect the party. We always welcome people to work for the masses, not just for getting tickets.”

After the Jhargram drubbing in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Trinamool retained its support base in all four Assembly seats in the 2021 Assembly polls and won 39
of 40 zilla parishad seats in the panchayat elections in 2023. But the growing divisions in tribal communities, coupled with the Kurmi movement, has left the party concerned before the Lok Sabha poll.

Speaking at the rally, Abhishek repeatedly urged tribal people to cast their vote after a careful consideration of their “priorities”.

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