TMC lines up booth meetings to mark Martyrs’ Day on July 21
Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that Martyrs’ Day on July 21 wouldn’t be held in its traditional form because of Covid-19 and hence, the biggest annual event of the Trinamul Congress would be marked through booth-level programmes with small gatherings and an address by her.
The chief minister held a videoconfernce with senior Trinamul leaders and party MPs and MLAs on Friday evening to finalise the conduct of the July 21 event.
“July 21 is almost here. This time, we cannot hold a big one… in front of CESC (Victoria House at Esplanade in Calcutta), garlanding in memory of martyrs will take place, but there is prohibition on gatherings,” said Mamata.
“The programme this time… every booth, all the booths, not one booth can be excluded (there are around 78,000 in the state), gathering from 1pm. Three people in charge for organising these, including the local MLA and MP. There cannot be more than 25-30 people per booth-level event. Honouring martyrs, flag hoisting,” she added.
The Trinamul chief said she would address the workers live from 2pm.
“The party will take care of the connection. There will be screens for viewing. No booth can be left out. Between 1pm and 2pm, the local events, 2pm to 3pm, I will address.”
A Trinamul source said Mamata lined up several political programmes to build the momentum ahead of the Martyrs’ Day with protests against privatisation of railways on July 7, rising fuel prices the following day and 100 per cent FDI in the coal sector on July 9.
The party will also hold protests on July 10 against the Centre’s ordinance that entrusts the Reserve Bank of India with powers to control cooperative banks .
Between July 11 and 13, Trinamul will hold campaigns to highlight the Mamata government’s handling of Covid-19, migrant worker crisis and Cyclone Amphan.
According to a senior MP, the Trinamul chief said she did not want to prioritise politics and elections amid the mega humanitarian crises faced by Bengal, but since the BJP did not reciprocate the courtesy, no time could be wasted.
“She said we must already get into election mode. Every MLA must go all-out to win and accordingly, do all that is necessary, she said,” said the MP.
Several sources said Mamata had admonished the elected representatives and senior leadership for not doing enough to counter the BJP’s propaganda against the party and the government.
“They (the BJP) are always hitting the streets and misleading the people. Why hasn’t our party been returning fire is something she asked more than once. She said no time could be wasted in taking the message of how much the state has done, on the one hand, and how little the Centre has, on the other, to every household in Bengal,” said a minister.
“She said the only issue that should be left to her, exclusively, to address is China,” he added.
According to him, she reiterated warnings against graft and malpractice in the relief and rehabilitation processes for Covid-19 and Amphan, vowing “zero tolerance”.
“She also explained that it was now or never, by way of setting aside internal differences to win next year,” he added.