Upping the ante against the BJP, senior Trinamool Congress leader Bratya Basu on Tuesday said that his party will extend its hand of friendship to anyone who is not getting due respect in the saffron camp. Claiming that the BJP indulges in "politics of disruption and division", the state science and technology minister said the TMC, unlike the saffron party, believes in growth and positivity.
"We are ready to extend our hand of friendship to those who are not getting their due respect in the BJP, which is a party of the fascists," Basu told a press meet at TMC headquarters here. He slammed the saffron party for expelling old-timers like Jaswant Sinha, and sidelining LK Advani, "all because they spoke their minds".
Taking about the farmers' agitation in the country over the new agriculture laws, Basu said Union Home Minister Amit Shah, instead of resolving the crisis, is visiting Bengal, as the "BJP's only goal is to capture this state". Asked about the growing dissension in the TMC camp, he said, "We do not want anyone to leave the party. Even if a worker goes, it is a loss for us." Assembly elections are likely to be held in West Bengal in April-May next year.
Stressing that the state government's 'Duare Sarkar' programme, the second phase of which began on Tuesday, has received favourable response, Basu said 65 lakh people have registered themselves for various welfare schemes in 652 camps across Bengal. "The BJP government at the Centre has never spared a thought for the middle class, but the TMC dispensation has taken care of them through its 'Swasthya Sathi' initiative," he said, adding that the state will incur an expenditure of Rs 2,000 crore for the health scheme.