TMC, Armed with Data, Counters Shah’s Claims on Killings of BJP Workers
One day after Union Interior Minister Amit Shah welcomed seven MLAs from the Trinamool Congress (TMC), including Suvendu Adhikari and three MLAs from other parties, to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at a rally in Midnapore, the TMC responded Sunday with what it called a fact sheet. Shat, at the rally, brought various charges against the ruling party and the state government.
TMC leader in Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien, circulated data on social media to counter Shah’s claims. Shah’s Sunday visit to Visva Bharati, the only central Bengal university that was created by Rabindranath Tagore, was also criticized by the TMC and left-wing student unions.
“Shah claimed on Saturday that 300 BJP workers have been killed in Bengal in a year and a half. This is a lie. Many BJP workers are being killed in factional disputes. Even the suicides pose as political assassinations. The fact is that 1,027 TMC workers have died since 1998. 116 BJP Lok Sabha members are also known to have a criminal record, ”said Subrata Mukherjee, senior TMC leader and panchayat minister.
On Saturday, Shah defended Adhikari, who was branded by TMC as a traitor. “Didi (Mamata Banerjee) didn’t you leave Congress and come to TMC? Wasn’t he changing allegiance? “Shah said.
“Mamata Banerjee did not leave Congress to join another party. If a Union minister tries to sell the history of our country, we must protest. Banerjee was not a deserter. She created the TMC, a new party, in 1998, ”Mukherjee said.
“Shah also claimed that people in Bengal do not get benefits under the Center’s Ayushmann Bharat health care scheme. You don’t know the facts. Banerjee started the Swasthya Sathi program two years before Ayushmann Bharat was launched. Under this scheme, 1.4 million families have received health insurance covering expenses of up to Rs 5 lakh per year, ”said Mukherjee.
“Shah claimed that Bengal farmers are deprived of 6,000 rupees per year under the Prime Minister’s central scheme. The reality is that Bengal provides farmers with an annual assistance of Rs 5,000 per acre under the Krishak Bandhu program. The core scheme provides only Rs 1214 per acre. Furthermore, the Bengal government pays the full insurance premium under Sasya Bima, while the Center receives part of the premium from farmers, ”said Mukherjee.
“Shah had food at a villager’s house on Saturday and said that the house was provided under the scheme of Prime Minister Awas Yojna. This is another false claim, ”Mukherjee said.
“The Center pays 60 percent of the money under this scheme, while the state pays the rest. Between 2011-2020, the state has built 33.87,000 houses at a cost of Rs 39,993 crore. Under the state’s own Geetanjali Prakalpa, 3,90,000 houses were built at a cost of Rs 3,550 crore. Under the “Housing for All” program, 4.30,000 houses were built. This cost the state treasury another 7 billion rupees, ”Mukherjee said.
The TMC also responded to Shah’s claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sent food grains for the people of Bengal and was misappropriated by TMC workers. “The reality is that under Bengal’s Khadya Sathi program, around 10 million people will receive free rations until June 2021. No government in the country has ever done this. This is a historical record, ”Mukherjee said.
During the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the Center’s decision to dispatch three officers from the Indian Police Service to other states. These officers were in charge of the security of the convoy of BJP national president JP Nadda, which was stoned in the 24th district south of Parganas on 10 December.
TMC leaders said the chief ministers of non-BJP-governed states called Banerjee and expressed solidarity on this issue.
“The Center is blatantly interfering with the functioning of the state government by transferring police officers. My thanks to @bhupeshbaghel @ArvindKejriwal @capt_amarinder @ ashokgehlot51 & @mkstalin for showing solidarity with the people of Bengal and reaffirming their commitment to federalism. Thank you! “Mamata Banerjee tweeted on Sunday.
On Sunday, Shah’s visit to Visva Bharati was also criticized by the TMC.
TMC leaders in Calcutta staged a protest against the posters, with images of Shah placed over Tagore, which were found throughout the city of Bolpur on Friday. This caused a strong reaction among residents. Claiming that the TMC had put up the posters to sabotage Shah’s visit, the BJP workers quickly removed them.
The TMC set up a podium in front of the palatial home of the Tagore family in Jorasanko, north of Kolkata, and organized a protest. “The cartels degraded Tagore’s rich heritage,” Mukherjee said.
The Student Federation of India, the student wing of the CPI (M), alleged that university authorities pressured students who opposed Shah’s visit to Visva Bharati to withdraw the unrest.
“When the students refused to obey, the police put two student leaders under house arrest. SFI condemns this. We have always fought against saffron in educational spaces, ”said SFI National Secretary General Mayukh Biswas.
An official from the Santiniketan police station said the police did not take such action.