TMC demands PM’s apology for saying freedom fighter Matangini Hazra was from Assam

The BJP said that the TMC was unnecessarily creating a controversy over the gaffe made during the prime minister's Independence Day speech.

Kolkata, Aug 15 The Trinamool Congress on Sunday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has scant knowledge of history and demanded an apology from him for incorrectly saying that freedom fighter from West Bengal, Matangini Hazra, hailed from Assam.

The BJP said that the TMC was unnecessarily creating a controversy over the gaffe made during the prime minister’s Independence Day speech, and claimed that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also made many faux pas in her speeches in the past.

West Bengal TMC general secretary Kunal Ghosh said that the prime minister has scant knowledge of history and merely read out a written text in a “dramatic style”.

The TMC spokesperson tweeted, “@BJP4India Matangini Hazra from Assam? R u mad? U don’t know history. U have no feelings. You just read a written speech (that also by others) with drama.”

“This is insult to Bengal. You must beg apology. Hope Your LOP from East Midnapore will also condemn such a mistake,” Ghosh added, while attaching a purported clipping of the speech.

The TMC leader sought a response from Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly and Nandigram’s BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari, who had often referred to the contribution of Medinipur, from where Matangini Hazra hailed, to the freedom struggle.

The TMC tweeted on its official handle, “Matangini Hazra is a freedom fighter from Bengal, Mr. @narendramodi!”

“With such scant regard for our glorious history, you have insulted all of #Bengal once again. Is @BJP4India committed to erasing our history? Mocking it as they please? SHAME,” the party said, attaching a purported video with the post.

Reacting to the controversy, state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said, “It was a minor mistake on the prime minister’s part and the TMC is deliberately highlighting it while trying to overlook other parts of his speech where he spoke about many projects initiated by the Centre.”

BJP state vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar said, “It was a slip of tongue. What about the series of gaffes made by the chief minister on our freedom fighters and history? Did she ever apologise for those blunders?”

Senior Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya said, “It was a serious mistake by the PM showing his ignorance about Bengal’s history and its contribution to the freedom struggle.”

State Left Front chairman Biman Bose said, “Things like these happen if someone who has grown up with RSS teachings does not care to read or find out on his own and depends on the text prepared by his office without even checking.”

Hazra (1869-1942), who lived in Tamluk in present-day Purba Medinipur district, was shot dead by the British Indian Police while she was leading a procession as part of the Quit India movement launched across the country by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942.

Her death triggered widespread condemnation and steeled Indians’ resolve against the British colonialists, giving more impetus to the freedom struggle.

Hazra is a familiar figure across West Bengal and there is a statue of her in Maidan area in the heart of Kolkata. She is remembered while paying tributes to freedom fighters and both the TMC and the BJP had invoked her during the high-voltage campaign in Purba and Paschim Medinipur districts during the assembly elections this year.

TMC-BJP clash in Tripura: 2 more arrested

14 other TMC leaders and workers were arrested earlier in connection with the clash that took place at Ambassa in Tripura on August 7

Agartala: Two more Trinamool Congress (TMC) activists of Tripura were arrested for their alleged involvement in last week’s clash between the party and the BJP in Dhalai district, the police said on Thursday.

Fourteen other TMC leaders and workers were arrested earlier in connection with the clash that took place at Ambassa in Tripura on August 7. They later secured bail.

Police from Ambassa arrested Surajit Sutradhar, who was driving West Bengal TMC leader Debangshu Bhattacharya’s car on that day, and Amal Bhowmick from their houses in Amtali area here on Wednesday night.

A local court remanded them to four days’ judicial custody on Thursday.

Senior TMC leaders from West Bengal are of late visiting Tripura where the assembly election is due in 2023.

The arrests were illegal and politically motivated, claimed TMC Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen, who arrived here on Thursday and met the families of the two arrested persons.

Police came from Ambassa and forcibly entered the house of Amal Bhowmik in absence of local police personnel and women staff. The Ambassa police arrested them without showing any reason, Sen told reporters.

Freedom fighters were arrested during the British rule in this way, he claimed.

“There is no law and order in Tripura and police-raj is going on,” he said.

When contacted, Officer-in-Charge of Amtali police station Siddhartha Sankar Dey said that one officer from it was with the team of the Ambassa police during the arrests.

The TMC had on August 7 alleged that two of its youth leaders from West Bengal were injured when their vehicle was allegedly attacked by BJP activists in Ambassa.

Denying the allegation, the BJP claimed that the TMC is a non-factor in Tripura, and West Bengal’s ruling party is spreading the “virus of political violence” in the northeastern state, where “outsiders” are fomenting trouble.

Police said that two persons were attacked by a group of unidentified miscreants at Ambassa and their vehicle was damaged.

At least 14 leaders and workers of the TMC, including those injured in the attack, were arrested the next day in Khowai district for “violating Covid norms”.

Mamata Banerjee likely to announce TMC candidate list for Bengal polls today

Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee is expected to announce the list of all candidates in the fray for the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal.

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to announce the list of candidates for all 294 Assembly seats in one go for the upcoming elections in the state. The list is likely to have more women candidates and younger and new faces with a clean record.

The TMC has held back-to-back meetings in the last few days to finalise the contenders' list. The party leaders have decided not to give tickets to people above the age of 80.

Reports suggest that many sitting MLAs -- almost 75 -- according to the sources, may be dropped from the list in an effort to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) allegation that the party promotes "cut money" culture in the execution of government programmes.

The TMC is fighting the elections on the theme of ‘Bangla Nijer Meyekei Chai’ (Bengal wants its own daughter). It is expected to field over 35 per cent women candidates.

For the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee had declared a 40.5 per cent quota for women TMC candidates. Of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, the TMC had given tickets to 17 women candidates.

On January 18, the CM had announced that she would contest the polls from Nandigram as well as Bhowanipur seats in the upcoming Assembly poll in 2021. She will likely fight against defected MLA Suvendu Adhikari from Nandigram.

Elections in Bengal will be held in eight phases on March 27, April 1, 6, 10, 17, 22,  26 and 29, making it the longest ever polls in the state. The votes will be counted on May 2.

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Bengal Election – A tug of war between Trinamool Congress and BJP

Among the four poll bound states, the one that is getting much attention is the West Bengal. The state is witnessing the rallies by cabinet ministers including Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Also the state is getting much coverage from national media in their debates and prime time shows.  While the other states are yet to see the high voltage electoral campaign, Bengal has been experiencing it from long ago. The BJP has, from the last 10 years is trying to make inroads in West Bengal. The frequent visits of top political leaders imply it importance. In fact BJP has earned around forty percent vote share by winning 18 seats out of 42 in the last Lokshabha election and becoming the major face of opposition in the Bengal’s politics leaving behind the Left party which is struggling to bounce back. And this time, of course they are expecting high. Irrespective of the result on the May 2, Bengal is seeing the polarising electoral campaign much more than it has seen during the Communist regime. This election is mainly between Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the do or die situation for them. However combining Congress, Left and the newly formed platform of Muslim parties of Owaisi’s AIMIM and an influential Bengal cleric Abbas Siddiqui’s Indian Secular Front is making the battle for Bengal more twisting. These parties may not have any real chance to form the government on their own but their importance cannot be ignored in the post-election developments. But the recent differences seen during joint rally organised by the grand alliance of Left-Congress- ISF where verbal attacks were exchanged between Congress’s Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and ISF founder Abbas Siddiqui which may divide the vote share and ultimately benefiting BJP or TMC.

Trinamool Congress claiming their leader Mamata Banerjee as Bengal’s daughter stressing upon the BJP as “outsiders”. They have come with the slogan – “Bengal wants its own daughter”. . The vote share hold by Trinamool Congress can’t be ignored as it has clean swept in 2011 and 2016 even during Modi’s wave.  In 2016 state assembly election TMC won 211 seats of the 294 alone. Mamata Banerjee’s influence is not limited to her state only but she is often considered as a face of opposition against the ruling party BJP in the centre. She is always vocal about the national issues too; be it the controversial farm laws or CAA-NRC. Narendra Modi on the other hand, attempts at appropriating Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The BJP is constantly highlighting the issues of corruption in W est Bengal by TMC. The issue of illegal migrants is often repeated in the speeches of Amit Shah.

The shift of political party from TMC to BJP recently by tall leaders like Mukul Roy, once Mamata Banerjee’s close aide and Suvendu Adhikari who was a widely popular leader of TMC has made BJP more confident. The sheer push of Hindutva, CAA- NRC and anti-incumbency make BJP’s hopes closer.  While some believes polarisation will help Trinamool Congress as the state shares  over 30 percent minority voters particularly Muslims who has voted for TMC in the last election. BJP is successful in injecting the fear of existential crisis among majority voters. Ms. Banerjee’s policies revolve around the subsidised benefits to all sections of society. But also she is facing the allegations of appeasement politics for providing subsidy to the Imams and Muezzins (prayer callers) whereas obstructing Durga Puja and Hindus’ religious processions. The rhetoric speeches of top BJP leaders also mention the same.

Well it is still too early to read the minds of the voters but this is surely an election to watch.

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Fire at warehouse in Kolkata's Bowbazar

Kolkata, Feb 27  A fire broke out at a warehouse

in a building in central Kolkata's Bowbazar area on Saturday afternoon, police said.

The warehouse, located adjacent to a computer store and an eatery on Khetra Das Lane, was used for storing computer goods, they said.

Four fire tenders brought the blaze under control, police said.

Nobody was injured in the incident, they said.

"At the moment, the cooling process is underway," an officer of the Fire Department said.

Senior Fire Department officials visited the spot amid apprehensions that the fire could spread as the area is congested.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, officials said.

Local MLA Nayana Bandyopadhyay of TMC also visited the area. PTI

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Centre's three new farm laws: Mamata to assemble special assembly session for passing resolution

The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal will soon call a special session of the state legislative assembly to pass a resolution against the Centre's three new farm laws.

Kerala, Delhi, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan have already passed similar resolutions.

This comes at a time when talks between protesting farmers' unions and the Centre remain deadlocked despite seven rounds of talks over the farm laws.

On Monday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she will never allow the implementation of the three farm laws, and arrangements would soon be made to convene an assembly session to pass a resolution against them.

"I support the farmers and want the withdrawal of these three laws for the sake of the country," Mamata Banerjee said.

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