Mamata set to address state's biggest ever people's rally
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee will reiterate her demand for the reintroduction of ballot papers replacing the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) from the stage of the Martyrs' Day rally on Sunday. The police had gunned down 13 Youth Congress supporters who took part in the march to the Writers' Buildings demanding "no ID card no vote" on July 21, 1993 under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee who was the then Youth Congress president. The day is observed as the Martyrs' Day by the Trinamool since the inception of the party on January 1, 1998.
While on her visit to the venue on Saturday evening, she said she has been rooting for the electoral reforms since 1995 and added: "For preventing black money (in polls), restoring democracy, ensuring transparency on the part of political parties, the reforms are must. It should include state funding. Why should a party collect funds? Why should black money be there?".
Maintaining that the EVMs have been discarded by many countries, including England, France and Germany, the Chief Minister said: "Those who introduced EVMs are not using it. When there are so many complaints, ballot papers should be revived. We are saying no to EVM, and asking for the return of ballot papers."
Banerjee visited the venue in front of the CESC House on Chittaranjan Avenue to see the last-minute arrangements on Saturday afternoon. She was accompanied by Mayor Firhad Hakim and Trinamool state president Subrata Bakshi. She inspected the main podium and the arenas where the party leaders and functionaries will sit on Sunday.
It may be recalled that during her election speeches, Banerjee had spoken over and again about the manipulation of the EVMs. After the result of the general elections was declared, all the Opposition parties had echoed her thoughts. But till date, none has launched any concrete movement on the issue. Banerjee proposes to launch an all-India movement on the issue and is expected to highlight the same during the mega rally.
Large sections of Trinamool supporters are suffering from fear psychosis because of the BJP's unprecedented result in the Lok Sabha elections. From two Lok Sabha seats in 2014, the party has bagged 18 seats in 2019.
Ironically, Jangalmahal and North Bengal are two areas where the TMC failed to get a single seat despite massive development taking place in the region in the past eight years.
In the meetings with the presidents and other functionaries of the districts, the party supremo has told them not to get worried as the party's vote percentage has gone up by 4 percent. She has also assured them that TMC will be back to power in 2021.
Meanwhile, many Trinamool leaders who had joined the saffron party have come back to the party fold. It is to be seen how Banerjee can cheer up the party's rank and file and inspire them to carry out the party's ongoing programmes successfully.