Outsiders will have to return after Bengal assembly polls: Abhishek Banerjee

·3-min read

(Issuing after redrafting story) Kolkata, Feb 18 (PTI) On a day when Union Home Minister Amit Shah flagged off BJP's Parivartan Yatra in West Bengal, the president of All India Trinamool Youth Congress Abhishek Banerjee Thursday said that all 'outsiders' will have to return after the state poll.

Banerjee was speaking at a TMC rally at Pailan in South 24 Parganas district, about 70 km away from Kakdwip where Shah flagged off the Parivartan Yatra, the fifth and last Rathayatra by BJP before the poll.

The ruling Trinamool Congress has often referred to BJP leaders from other states as 'outsiders'.

BJP had failed to make any dent in South 24 Parganas district though the party had emerged as the main opposition in the state after the 2019 Lok Sabha election. It has launched an all out war to deseat the 10-year-old Mamata Banerjee government in the poll due in April-May.

The rally at Pailan was also addressed by TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.

'Those coming here are not aware of the unique culture of Bengal but are making promises of making the state Sonar Bangla (prosperous Bengal). Our leader Mamata Banerjee will score a hattrick this time and outsiders will have to return yet again. It is a matter of time,' said Abhishek Banerjee, who is the nephew of the chief minister.

Mamata Banerjee will seek to be returned to power for the third consecutive time in the coming poll.

'Why can't they (BJP) make Sonar Uttar Pradesh, Sonar Rajasthan or a Sonar Haryana. I urge the people of West Bengal not to fall prey to their false campaign. The people must make sure that communal forces don't raise their ugly heads in the state', he said.

Referring to the exodus from TMC, including ministers, Banerjee said that BJP has reached such a state that it was poaching leaders from the party to fight the state poll.

'We will fight the saffron party tooth and nail. I am sure Trinamool Congress will get not less than 250 seats in the polls. The fight is to protect Bengal's rich culture,' he asserted.

West Bengal has a total 294 seats in the assembly.

Referring to the state government's health scheme 'Swasthya Sathi', he claimed that nearly ten crore people in the state have been given the cards to avail benefits under it.

The scheme, which was launched in 2016, was expanded by the TMC government in November 2020 to cover the entire population of the state and has a basic health cover for secondary and tertiary care up to Rs 5 lakh per annum per family. The state government will fund the scheme.

'On the other hand, Ayushman Bharat health scheme (of the Centre) is not for all. Those having scooters or smartphones are not eligible for it. But Swasthya Sathi card is for all - no exclusions', the TMC MP said.

Even West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh's family members have opted for the Swasthya Sathi card, he claimed.

Banerjee criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for promising the people before the 2014 general election that every person's bank account will be credited with Rs 15 lakh and assuring two crore employments per year.

'How many jobs have been created in the last seven years (since 2014)?' he asked. PTI dc KK KK KK