Taking a dig at the BJP for pitching that governments formed by the same party both at the Centra and the state will accelerate development in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress Friday said the double-engine analogy by the saffron party will be a non-starter in the state. Senior party leader and minister Bratya Basu told reporters at a press meet here that while campaigning for the upcoming assembly polls in the state, BJP leaders are highlighting the need for same party’s government both at the Centre and the state.
“This double-engine train will not have bogies for the common man to ride. These engines must be driven at a very slow pace on chord lines, if you take into account the number of killings, attacks on dalits and women in BJP-ruled states," he said. “….they are not saying how their government (BJP) is working on the agenda to hand over railways to private parties. The saffron party wants to do something similar for Bengal. They only work to fulfill the interest of big corporate," the minister said.
Castigating the BJP for allegedly making false promise to Matua community members while doing little to stop discrimination among lower castes, Basu said that in BJP-ruled states like UP and Madhya Pradesh, the backward castes are not given equal treatment vis-a-vis upper castes. “They (backward caste members) are discriminated while being served food, which is never practiced in Bengal," he said.
During a recent meeting at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas district of the state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured members of the Matua community about providing citizenship to them. “While the Matuas are already citizens in the country, BJP leaders are making promises to enforce Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) before the Matuas at meetings after vaccination for COVID-19 gets over. This is akin to total eradication of influenza, pneumonia and other virus-borne diseases in the world which will never happen," he said.
Matuas, originally from East Pakistan, are weaker section of Hindus who migrated to India during the Partition and after the creation of Bangladesh. Many of them have been accorded Indian citizenship but a sizeable section of the population has not got it. The Matua community, with an estimated population of three million in the state, can tilt the scales in favour of a political party. It once stood behind the TMC but had supported the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Asked about the slated announcement of assembly poll dates by the Election Commission, Basu said, “We are ready. We have no problems with the number of phases to be declared by the poll panel. “We have been with the people for 365 days in past 10 years. We have been working for them. The first boy in the class is never afraid of exams as he has studied throughout the year. Those who had never been on the side of people are afraid of exams."