Kolkata: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has every reason to rejoice in West Bengal after winning 18 seats and seeing an increase in vote-share from 17% to 40.4%.
Hooghly MP Locket Chatterjee and Raiganj MP Debasree Chaudhuri have another reason to rejoice. They are first two BJP parliamentarians from the state.
Chatterjee won by a margin of 73,362 votes against her TMC counterpart Ratna De Nag, while Chowdhury won by 60,574 votes against the ruling camp’s Kanhaiya Lal Agarwal.
A day after winning the seat, Chatterjee announced her plans of bringing back the Tata Group back to Singur which is a part of her constituency.
“We want to bring back the Tata factory in Singur. Mamata Banerjee has done politics over the place and it has brought tears to the people’s eyes. I have spoken to farmers and their families and they suggested that the company be brought back. Unemployed youths want jobs and don’t want to be restricted to agriculture. They want industry to co-exist here,” said Chatterjee at a press conference.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rose to power in 2011 after defeating the 34-year rule of the Left Front by riding on the sentiments of landowners in Singur after Tata Motors announced setting up the Tata Nano factory in Singur.
Banerjee had sat on a 28-day hunger strike in 2006 to protest against the forcible acquisition of land and in 2007, compelled the Tatas to shift base for the factory to Sanand in Gujarat.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, the Trinamool Congress, led by Banerjee won 19 seats in the Bengal. Two years later, Banerjee went on to conquer the corridors of power by forming the government in the state. The party won a second term in 2016.
Chatterjee also spoke about re-opening jute mills in her constituency that have remained shut for years. She blamed the Trinamool government for playing politics around jute mills by temporarily opening them before elections.
Chatterjee, who is also the state president of the BJP Mahila Morcha, said women’s safety was an important issue that should be in focus in West Bengal.
“Despite having a woman chief minister, there is insecurity. Women safety hould be given priority,” Chatterjee added.
Her colleague, Chaudhuri expressed confidence that the Assembly election in the state would be advanced and might even be held in the next six months.
“It is just a matter of days, not even years that the Assembly elections would be held in West Bengal. Banerjee’s personal attacks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi have gone against her and the TMC,” Chaudhuri said.
She unseated CPI(M)’s Mohammad Salim, who was seeking a re-election from Raigunj, once a Congress bastion. The grand old party had fielded Deepa Dasmunsi as its candidate.
The new Raiganj MP said she would continue to work for the people of her constituency.
On being asked about the minority voters who comprise about 2.16% of the population in Raiganj, Chaudhuri said the BJP is not against minorities.
“We are not against minorities. In fact, they have voted in our favour,” she added.