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Locked horns: Trinamool rails against Mukul Roy and BJP at a tit-for-tat rally

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 13 November 2017, 20:32 IST
(AFP)

With Mukul Roy joining the BJP a month after leaving the ranks of the All India Trinamool Congress, the party held a rally on Monday to counter Roy's recent statements.

At the rally at Rani Rashmoni Road in Kolkata, AITC leaders focused on telling the people how the government at the Centre believes in the "annihilation of minorities".

The leaders made their stand at the same venue where their one-time senior leader Mukul Roy, now with the BJP, made accusations against Mamata Banerjee and her nephew on 10 November.

Countering Roy's statement where he has said that AITC would never come to power without the help of BJP, state municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim reminded Roy of how the party has allied with the NDA when it was under Atal Bihari Vajpayee as it had respected his ideology. Hakim continued to say that the party has no belief in the ideology followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We are fighting against BJP because Narendra Modi believes in the ideology of annihilation of the minorities. His hands are stained with the blood of the Muslim population of Gujarat. We condemn and despise this kind of ideology. There is no question of joining hands with this kind of leader,” Hakim said.

Roy, too, did not hold back in his reply to the party. "Trinamool Congress is afraid of my popularity and that is why they have organised the rally. They cannot counter my claim on Biswa Bangla," he said.

Later this week, Roy is scheduled to file a case at Delhi High Court against the tapping of his phone by the West Bengal government.

Of traitors and absenteeism

Meanwhile, fuelling speculations that Mukul Roy may poach more Trinamool Congress cadres - beginning at his own home with his son Subranghsu Roy - Roy’s son, who was supposed to lead the attack on Monday against his father, was conspicuously absent from the rally.

Just two days ago, Subranghsu had sworn allegiance to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He had said that Mukul Roy may be his father, but he would remain an ardent follower of Mamata and that there is no question of his quitting Trinamool Congress.

With the main agenda of the rally set at targeting Mukul Roy, several AITC leaders called him a traitor who has betrayed Mamata and the people of Bengal.

Arjun Singh, the AITC MLA from Bhatpara, said: "If Roy can win a civic election in his area Kanchrapara, I will leave politics. I have heard that Roy said that in 77,000 booths in West Bengal, he has got his own person and he can win from every booth. I am challenging him. He is a traitor and has betrayed Banerjee. He is like the legendary poet Kalidas, who cut the branch of the tree on which he was sitting."

According to state parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee, political power cannot be grabbed by using muscle alone. He said this to prove how Mamata has the popular vote in the state, which is why she is still the Chief Minister of the state.

An economy in crisis

A section of Trinamool leaders also spoke about the problems being faced by the people due to demonetisation and the faulty implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST).

“The GST tax rate has been revised, but till now Centre had not given any time limit from which date the revised tax will be implemented. the revisions have been made only keeping the Gujarat elections in mind. When the Gujarat elections are over, then the tax rate will again be increased. This is the Centre’s game plan,” said Nayana Bandhyopadhyay.

First published: 13 November 2017, 20:32 IST
 
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