Agartala: Castigating the Manik Sarkar-led Left Front government for Tripura’s regression, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday batted for development and asserted her Trinamool Congress would come to power in the state.
Virtually setting the tune for her party’s campaign ahead of the 2018 Tripura assembly polls, she enumerated the development projects initiated by her government in West Bengal at a rally here in the northeastern state.
Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, said entire Bengal would jump to Tripura to oust the Left Front from power.
“Tripura and Bengal are sisters and their welfare is interconnected. People here have been telling me to save Tripura, I was waiting for the right opportunity. And now we have a great team which will work for the people.
“I would come to Tripura again and again and my entire party leadership would stand beside the Tripura leadership to vote out the CPI-M-led Left Front government. Entire Bengal would side with Tripura to throw out CPI-M from power. In 2018 we will celebrate the victory parade here,” she said at the Vivekananda Stadium here.
Taking on her Tripura counterpart Sarkar, Banerjee flayed the Left regime for unleashing violence ignoring development.
“You (LF) have been in power for 23 years here, but what have you done? There are no hospitals, no industry, no employment, no teachers, and no university. Millions of youths are jobless. If TMC comes to power in Tripura, everything will change.”
“You have done nothing but hatching conspiracy, unleashing violence, spreading canards and making false promises,” said Banerjee whose Trinamool is now the principal opposition party in Tripura after a majority of Congress legislators joined its ranks.
Banerjee asked the LF why potatoes were being sold there at Rs 40 a kilo. “Our government has opened many special counters to sell potato at Rs 14 a kg.”
She also hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Narendra Modi-led central government.
“All that BJP knows is how to foment riots and communal tensions. It knows how to spend money on advertisements and use central agencies against us,” said Banerjee referring to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which have arrested and interrogated several high profile Trinamool leaders in the chit fund scam.
“People are jumping to take credit for the railway link in Tripura, but it’s neither the BJP nor the Communists who deserve the credit. I as the then railway minister announced the project in 2010,” said Banerjee on Tripura’s recent entry to the broad gauge railway map of the country.
Apart from Banerjee, Trinamool Vice President Mukul Roy, and state party leaders including Ratan Chakraborty and Sudip Roy Barman addressed the rally.
Banerjee’s visit was the first after six Congress MLAs led by its then legislative party head Barman as also a large number of other leaders resigned from the party to protest against the Congress’ electoral alliance with Left parties in West Bengal and joined the Trinamool on June 7.
Banerjee’s tour was aimed at expanding Trinamool’s base beyond West Bengal. Ahead of her trip, Roy camped in the Left-ruled state for days.
The Left Front first came to power in Tripura in 1978, but lost to the Congress in 1988. The LF returned to power in 1993, and has been ruling since then.
Sarkar became chief minister 18 years back in 1998.