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'We know only Mamata di': Purulia tribal families visited by Amit Shah, join Trinamool

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 30 June 2018, 18:44 IST


A day after BJP president Amit Shah's visit to two Dalit families at Lagda village in West Bengal's Purulia, the two families joined the All India Trinamool Congress on Friday.

Four family members of the two families – Sanjoy Rajwar, his mother Sishubala Rajwar , Fuchun Rajwar and Ashtami Rajwar – joined AITC in the presence of the party leaders Madan Mitra and Dr Shantanu Sen.

Shah had visited the families on Thursday.

Recalling Shah's visit, 23-year-old Fuchun Rajwar said, “As a part of the Jan Sampark Karyakram, Shah handed over some leaflets to us. But we know only Mamata Di. We joined Trinamool Congress on Friday as we support Didi. Shah told us to join BJP. But we did not want to join their party. We are committed to AITC.”

According to the members of the family, the state government has provided enough benefits for BPL card-holders such as the move to provide Rs 2 per kilo rice to all BPL card holders.

Fuchun's mother Ashtami Rajwar said “When Shah visited our house, we offered him a chair and he told us to join their party. We voted for Didi as she has brought development in our village. There were no good schools in our locality. But after Didi came to power, she has set up three new schools in our locality. Now our children do not have to go to another village for their education.”

“Didi often visits Purulia. Earlier we didn't have proper roads. But they were built after Didi came to power. There are some other issues that need to be addressed and we hope the government would do that,” she adds.

According to Fuchun's wife Himani Rajwar,“ When Shah came to meet our family, he offered us a leaflet containing the achievements of the Narendra Modi government and urged us to vote for the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. He was accompanied by state president Dilip Ghosh and other senior BJP state leaders.”

AITC leader Madan Mitra accused the BJP of making people join the party by force.

“BJP leaders threatened the families and told them to join their party. It’s a matter of great concern. However the families support AITC and they came on Friday morning to our party office and expressed their desire to join the party. We immediately took up the matter our party chief Mamata Banerjee and the families have been inducted into our party.”

According to Mitra, BJP leaders who are siting in Delhi often come to Bengal just to create disturbance. “They need to work more to strengthen their party base in Bengal. In other states they can get votes by splurging money, but not in Bengal”.

This is not the first time that AITC has pulled of such a coup on Amit Shah.

On May 3, 2017 Shah went to Naxalbari and ate lunch in the house of a tribal family. But a week after later, the families joined AITC. While BJP leaders allege that the tribal couple was kidnapped and forced to join Trinamool Congress, AITC leaders claimed that they were supporters of the party and joined on their own volition.

Responding to the the act of the tribal families in Purulia, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said “Amit Shah went to meet the families as a part of the Jan Sampark Karyakram. Trinamool Congress leaders are threatened by Shah's presence so they kidnapped and forced the families to join their party. We have received information that after Shah left, the state police came to the homes of these families at Lagda village and took them to the AITC office in Kolkata. This is not the way to stop the growth of BJP in West Bengal. We will continue our Jan Sampark Karyakram, despite the AITC 's threat ."


First published: 30 June 2018, 18:44 IST