Though the election dates are yet to announced, Trinammol virtually began its poll campaign with Banerjee asking her party workers to put up united fight to ensure victory of all the candidates.
Banerjee announced this at the workers’ meeting on Saturday afternoon. This announcement demolishes the claim made by the CPI(M) and a leading vernacular newspaper that apprehending defeat, Mamata Banerjee would prefer to contest from a seat in Burdwan. Their apprehension was based on a fact that in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, a BJP candidate had got 200 votes more than his counterpart in Trinamool. Though a traditional Congress vote bank which later became a stronghold of Trinamool, there are a sizeable percentage of Gujarati and Punjabi voters and because of the Modi wave in 2014 they had voted against Trinamool. But now the wave is not there. In 2015 Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) election, Trinamool leader Sacchidananda Banerjee had lost to Ashim Ghosh of BJP. Ghosh would later end up joining Trinamool. Banerjee on Saturday told the workers that they should go to the people and make them aware of the projects taken up by the government in the past four and a half years. Sovan Chatterjee and Firhad Hakim would give them necessary instructions. She said as she would have to go to the districts it would not be possible for her to fully concentrate in the constituency and urged the workers not get provoked. ”The opposition will always try to trap you. But never get provoked and maintain your cool,” she told party workers. Banerjee reiterated that the unofficial alliance between Congress and CPI(M) would not have any impact in the poll prospect of Trinamool. “It is an unethical alliance and people of the state would reject it,” she maintained. She said the vote would be on development of the State government and 34 years of non performance of the Left Front. “This is an unholy alliance and do not get scared,” she said.
Banerjee said Trinamool had alliance with Congress in the 2011 election and Congress fought from 65 seats. But soon, the Congress MLA became close to the CPI(M) and tried to put Trinamool in trouble. It may be mentioned that she used to call Congress “B team of CPI(M).”She said that the Opposition would try to spread canard against Trinamool but “those canards would not have any impact as people of the state have seen the volume of work carried out by the State government in the past four and a half years. The CM, a former Railway minister, on Saturday, said that the state had been deprived in the Railway Budget for 2016-17.
“In this year’s Railway Budget, Bengal has got nothing. When I was the Railway minister for two years, I did the work of 40 years,” Banerjee said while addressing a party programme. Banerjee was the Railway minister between 2009 and 2011 during the UPA-2 regime.
On the day the Railway Budget was presented in Parliament, the Trinamool Congress had described it as a “big zero” and said there was nothing new at all. “The Railway Budget is a big zero. Last year, it had no depth. This year too. Nothing new at all. Freight rates and passenger fares were increased earlier. Zero plus zero equals zero,” TMC national spokesperson Derek O’Brien had said in a statement.