TMC celebrates 23rd foundation day, calls Mamata true upholder of Bengali culture

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(With additional inputs and BJP reax) Kolkata, Jan 1 (PTI) The ruling Trinamool Congress celebrated its 23rd foundation day on Friday and asserted that the party chief Mamata Banerjee is the 'true upholder' of Bengal's culture and values.

The opposition BJP mocked at TMC's foundation day celebartions saying this will be the last time that Mamata Banerjee's party does so while being in power.

The assembly polls are due in April-May this year and will be crucial as the saffron party, which has never been in power in this politically polarised state, will seek to deseat Banerjee who has been in power for two consecutive terms.

Senior TMC leaders led by state party president Subrata Bakshi hoisted the party flag at its state headquarters and congratulated workers for their tireless efforts in serving people.

'In the past 23 years our TMC family fought many battles whereby more and more people bestowed their faith in @MamataOfficial as the true upholder of Bengal's culture, pride & values! As we step into another year, we promise to always protect & serve the people of Bengal,' the TMC tweeted.

The comments by TMC come in the backdrop of the raging 'outsider-insider' debate in the state. TMC has repeatedly branded BJP as a party of outsiders which poses a threat to the culture and values of the state.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a series of tweets asserted that she will continue to fight and work for the people of the state in the days to come.

'As Trinamool turns 23 today, I look back at the journey we began on January 1st, 1998. Our years have been of immense struggle, but throughout this time we have continued to achieve our objective of being committed to the cause of only the people.' Banerjee said on Twitter.

Vowing to carry on her fight to uplift the state, she said 'On #TMCFoundationDay, I extend my sincere gratitude to our Maa-Mati-Manush and all our workers who continue to fight with us in making Bengal better and stronger each day. The Trinamool family will carry on with this resolve for times to come!' Senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim termed the saffron party as an 'outfit of poachers'.

'The BJP can't win the polls in a direct contest. So they have unleashed the CBI, the ED and are poaching our leaders to pin us down. But that won't yield any result as the party of poachers will be defeated and the traitors will not be able to save them,' he said.

Mocking TMC, Dilip Ghosh, the BJP state president said 'The days of the TMC government are numbered in Bengal. This is the last time that it is observing its foundation day while being in power.

'Once it is voted out in the next assembly polls, anybody can guess the fate of the TMC,' he added.

The TMC had issued instructions to its workers to conduct various programmes across the state to mark the occasion.

The party's leaders in districts have arranged various functions and street corner meetings to highlight its achievements in the last ten years.

Banerjee broke away from the Congress and formed TMC on January 1, 1998, with the objective to oust the then Left Front regime from power in the state. The party achieved its goal in May 2011 after allying with the Congress.

TMC faces a challenge in the next assembly elections, as a resurgent BJP in the state has pulled out all stops to defeat it. PTI PNT KK KK KK