Opposition Parties Attack Mamata Banerjee after She Promises to Solve Kashmir Issue in Manifesto
West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh alleged that Mamata Banerjee's claims are only to appease the minority community.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee with leaders releases party manifesto ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha Election 2019, in Kolkata, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: Opposition parties on Wednesday criticised Trinamool Congress President Mamata Banerjee hours after she released its manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Apart from promising better education, development, infrastructure, economy, judicial reforms, among other things, Banerjee also promised to find a solution to the issue of violence in Jammu & Kashmir.
“To restore peace in Kashmir, we will take the nation’s consent, trust and faith by our side. And we shall proceed towards a brighter future in this respect,” mentioned the party manifesto.
“I believe that the Kashmir issue can be resolved. We have to take the people there into confidence to do that,” Banerjee said at the manifesto’s release. “If needed. I will stay there to understand their problems.”
But this has not gone down well with opposition leaders, who reportedly consider it an ambitious promise. “She has made tall claims, hoping she comes to power. But let her come to power first. Let her first save West Bengal,” said West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party President Dilip Ghosh. “What does she have to do with Kashmir? She is saying this just to appease the minority community.”
Left Front Chairman Biman Bose said the chief minister should first look at ensuring the democratic rights of West Bengal. “She is talking about Kashmir. Why is she trying to be a ‘Kashmir ki kali’?” asked Bose. “She should focus on her state, she has been unsuccessful in developing her state.”
Congress leader Pradeep Bhattacharya inquired if Banerjee had spoken the Kashmir issue because she had solved the problem of violence in Maoist-dominated Jangalmahal in the past. Jangalmahal, spanning the southwestern districts of the state, was in the grip of a Maoist insurgency until 2011, when Communist Party of India (Maoist) Politbureau member Koteshwara Rao alias Kishenji was killed in an encounter. Kishenji spearheaded Maoist operations in the region.
“Jangalmahal and Kashmir are different. Jangalmahal has Maoists fighting against the government machinery… the slogans raised by Maoists and Kashmiri protestors are different,” said Bhattacharya. “It is an ambitious programme for the TMC and they have no proper idea about the basic problem in Kashmir.”
West Bengal will vote in seven phases from April 11 to May 19. The state will witness a four-cornered battle between the ruling Trinamool, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Congress, and BJP.
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