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regular-article-logo Friday, 31 May 2024

Ethnic communities pledge support to Trinamul Congress after Abhishek Banerjee meets representatives in Siliguri

In Siliguri, Abhishek held meeting with members of Kamta Rajbanshi Parishad, All Bodo (Mech) Samaj and Jai Birsa Munda Ulgulan and promised to look into their demands after general election

Bireswar Banerjee Siliguri Published 14.04.24, 10:26 AM
Trinamul’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in Sitai, Cooch Behar, on Saturday

Trinamul’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in Sitai, Cooch Behar, on Saturday Picture by Main Uddin Chisti

Trinamul’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee met representatives of communities in Siliguri on Saturday and campaigned for his party’s candidate in Cooch Behar.

In Siliguri, Abhishek held a meeting with members of the Kamta Rajbanshi Parishad, the All Bodo (Mech) Samaj and the Jai Birsa Munda Ulgulan and promised to look into their demands after the general election.

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Representatives of these organisations promised to back Trinamul in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seats. In 2019, they had backed the BJP.

Rahul Barman, the president of Kamta Rajbanshi Parishad, said they had supported the BJP for years now. “The BJP did nothing for us. The state government introduced many schemes and projects for the Rajbanshi community. We will support Trinamul,” he said.

Anit Thapa of the Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha, a hill ally of Mamata Banerjee’s party was behind the meeting.

Dila Shaibo, who represented the Bodo (Mech) community — the community has around 1.5 lakh voters in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts — said that since 2009, they had voted for the BJP.

“The BJP MPs never spoke about our issues in Parliament. Today (on Saturday), we met Abhishek Banerjee and confirmed our support (to Trinamul),” said Shaibo.

The community, he said, wants a development board, a Bodo department at the North Bengal University and 138 primary schools which the community runs with Mech as the language of instruction to get affiliation.

Kishor Kujur, the chief of Jai Birsa Munda Ulgulan, which represents the tribal people who form around 60 per cent of the population in six Assembly segments, was also present at the meeting.

“We will not back the BJP anymore. We voted the BJP but the Trinamul government launched welfare schemes for tribal people in tea estates and forest villages,” Kujur said.

Roadshow

Later in the day, Abhishek also went to Sitai, the Assembly seat in Cooch Behar from where Jagadish Chandra Barma Basunia of Trinamul won in the 2021 Assembly polls. Along with north minister Udayan Guha, he took part in a roadshow. Basunia is pitted against the BJP's Nisith Pramanik in this Lok Sabha polls. Abhishek said Pramanik had to seek bail as an arrest warrant had been issued against him. "You have such a candidate and then you have our candidate. You decide," said Abhishek.

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