After rejection twice by BJP govt, Trinamool to hold mega rally in Tripura on Sep 22

After the BJP government twice denied permission to the Trinamool Congress to hold a mega rally led by the party’s national General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee in Agartala, the TMC on Tuesday announced that it would hold the rally on September 22. Trinamool General Secretary Kunal Ghosh said here that if the Tripura government tries to stop the TMC rally, the party would go to court.

The Tripura police on Monday twice disallowed the mega rally planned by the Trinamool under the leadership of Banerjee in Agartala, first on Wednesday and then on Thursday. Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Sadar, Anirban Das first disallowed the Trinamool rally on September 15 saying that permission for organising a mass rally in Agartala has already been granted to another political party on this date and time. When the TMC sought permission to hold the mega ‘padyatra’ (protest march) on September 16, the SDPO in his letter to Trinamool leader Subal Bhowmik said that it is not possible to permit the holding of the rally on Thursday since there will be law and order commitment of the police in view of Viswakarma Puja on that day.

Lambasting the police decision, Abhishek Banerjee tweeted: “BJP is scared to death and Biplab (Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb) is using all his might and resources to prevent me from entering Tripura. Keep trying, but you cannot stop me. Your fear of AITC shows that your days in governance are numbered. Truth be told, ‘yeh darr humein achha laga’!.”

Ghosh, who is also the chief spokesman of the Trinamool, while addressing the media here on Tuesday said that to prevent Abhishek Banerjee’s rally in Agartala, the BJP conspired in various ways. “Such conspiracies would not stop Banerjee and the Trinamool in Tripura. The police cancelled Trinamool’s rally on Wednesday and Thursday after political directions from the top.”

The TMC leader said that several top BJP and RSS leaders had visited West Bengal for campaigning during the assembly elections and the administration or the law enforcement agencies did not stop them.

Ghosh said that Tripura hotel owners have been directed not to let our party leader Abhishek Banerjee stay, they are also forbidden from letting TMC organise press conferences on their premises. “This is a democratic country, BJP cannot do this. BJP is afraid of TMC because the people of the state are supporting us. Tripura law enforcing agencies have allowed mass rallies for other parties, but when it comes to TMC, the authorities are invoking Covid norms,” he said.

Congress turned TMC leader Sushmita Dev said that the CPI-M led Left parties have been in the Opposition for three-and-a-half years but they did nothing to protect the people of Tripura. “If CPI-M is BJP’s B-team, people should think about what the opposition has done since the BJP led government came to power in March 2018. It is crystal clear that Left and Right have merged together in Tripura. One has said that I have joined TMC because I was ignored by the Congress, whereas Tripura BJP said that thousands of people have answered my call and joined TMC,” said Dev, a former Lok Sabha member from Congress who joined the TMC on August 16.

She said she has a strong connection with Tripura through her father Santosh Mohan Dev and people should not question her allegiance to the state. “Tripura is one of the major reasons why I left Congress and joined TMC. I want to save both Assam and Tripura from BJP. Our survey shows that people of Tripura have decided to oust BJP from the state. It is not about how big a rally is, it is about what people decide and whom they vote for,” said Dev, whom the TMC on Tuesday nominated to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal.

Eyeing the Assembly polls in Tripura scheduled in 2023, Trinamool leaders, including Abhishek Banerjee, three Bengal ministers and over 12 MPs and many leaders are frequently visiting the state since July 25 to build the organisation and garner support in the BJP-ruled state.

A series of violent incidents involving Trinamool leaders from West Bengal and Tripura occurred in the state. Many leaders were also arrested by the Tripura police. The Trinamool, however, got a boost after Sushmita Dev joined the party in Kolkata.

Dev, who’s father and former Union minister late Santosh Mohan Dev was instrumental in installing a Congress-led government in Tripura in 1988, has been given the charge of Tripura. She has been touring the state for more than two weeks to strengthen the party there.