MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 April 2024

TMC rally starts in Dooars tea belt, aim to wrest Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar seats from BJP

The march, which has been named 'Chai Shramik Ekta Yatra', was launched by veteran trade union leaders in the presence of Ritabrata Banerjee, the state INTTUC president, at Sankosh tea estate of Alipurduar

Our Correspondent Alipurduar Published 20.02.24, 08:47 AM
INTTUC state president Ritabrata Banerjee (in black jacket) with other trade union leaders at the Chai Shramik Ekta Yatra on Monday at Sankosh tea estate in Alipurduar near the Assam border. The 11-day march started on Monday.

INTTUC state president Ritabrata Banerjee (in black jacket) with other trade union leaders at the Chai Shramik Ekta Yatra on Monday at Sankosh tea estate in Alipurduar near the Assam border. The 11-day march started on Monday. Picture by Anirban Choudhury

The Trinamul Cha Bagan Shramik Union (TCBSU) — the tea trade union affiliated to INTTUC, the workers’ front of Bengal's ruling party — launched its 11-day-long march from the Bengal-Assam border on Monday to reach out to the Dooars tea population.

The march, which has been named “Chai Shramik Ekta Yatra”, was launched by veteran trade union leaders in the presence of Ritabrata Banerjee, the state INTTUC president, at Sankosh tea estate of Alipurduar.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Our trade union leaders will move across the Dooars tea belt till February 11 to elaborate before people living in tea gardens as to what the Mamata Banerjee government has done for them. The leaders will also mention how BJP has made empty promises to them to draw votes before elections,” said Banerjee at the launch of the march.

Trinamul, which had faced back-to-back debacles at the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and 2021 state elections in the tea belt as it lost all three parliamentary seats and most Assembly seats to the saffron party, is desperate to win the Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar parliamentary seats this time.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in 2016 that the Centre would reopen closed gardens. Also, the Centre had announced Rs 1,000 crores for the development of women and children in the tea belt. But nothing happened. In fact, in this year’s budget, there was no mention of the tea industry, which hints that the BJP is not bothered about the tea workers and their families,” the state INTTUC president added.

During the march, Trinamul’s trade union leaders will meet workers of over 130 tea gardens spread in the Dooars belt.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Mamata Banerjee’s party has taken up the task to reach out to the tea workers, while highlighting that the state government met their longstanding demand of land rights and is also providing funds so that they can build their own houses in the tea gardens.

“We want to connect with tea workers, who have been deceived by the BJP. They can feel the plight of labourers who toiled under the 100 days' job scheme but did not get wages because the Centre stopped funds,” said Nakul Sonar, the president of TCBSU.

During the march, trade union leaders will hold one or two meetings every day and address workers of three to four gardens.

“The idea is to pass our message to the maximum possible number of workers and their families. They must realise that the Centre has done nothing for tea workers even as many tea companies defaulted on provident fund payments,” said Sonar.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT