Kolkata, Jan 11 (PTI) BJP leader Sovan Chatterjee on Monday said that the existence of the Trinamool Congress is in crisis as the saffron party is set to win the West Bengal assembly elections due in April-May.
Claiming that the TMC had turned the 2018 panchayat elections in the state into a farce, the former Kolkata mayor questioned whether this is the 'Sonar Bangla' (Golden Bengal) that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is claiming to have established.
'In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had pulled the rug from under your feet and now your existence is in crisis as the saffron party is set to win this year's assembly elections,' he said, while addressing a public meeting in south Kolkata's Selimpur area after leading a roadshow along with his friend Baisakhi Banerjee.
Chatterjee's first political programme in over three years had generated a lot of interest among common people, apart from BJP workers. He had a week earlier failed to turn up at a roadshow organised by the saffron party.
Instead of labelling those who have left the TMC as 'traitors', Mamata Banerjee should admit that the party has lost the confidence of the people of the state, Chatterjee, a former confidante of the chief minister, said.
Chatterjee, who was a minister in Banerjee's cabinet and Kolkata mayor for eight-and-half-years, said, 'Mamata Banerjee should know that I can throw away such ministership like a sandal.' He alleged that Banerjee, who had come to power in 2011 after defeating the Left Front, resorted to tactics that ensured that people could not vote in the 2018 panchayat elections, leading to uncontested victories for TMC candidates in zilla parishads.
'Is this the Sonar Bangla that she is claiming to have made?' he said.
The BJP has been harping on the slogan of turning West Bengal into 'Sonar Bangla', promising to bring back the state's old glory, while the TMC leadership has been criticising it, claiming that the state is in peace and prospering under its government.
'She is now maligning the BJP, with which she had tied up after the formation of the TMC in 1998,' Chatterjee, who had been with Mamata Banerjee since the formation of the party, said.
A former trusted lieutenant of the TMC supremo, Chatterjee had gone on a sabbatical in 2018 following differences with the party leadership before joining the BJP in August 2019, along with his friend Baisakhi Banerjee.
Accusing the TMC leadership of having a vengeful attitude towards his friend, he said that she had been removed from positions as the principal of a college and as a functionary of a professors' organisation. He even accused the party leadership of meddling in his personal matters. PTI AMR ACD ACD