Kolkata: A day before Shaheed Diwas, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has decked up trams in the capital city of Bengal to publicise the significance of 21st July and promote the party in the larger scape of national politics.
Speaking on the significance of the move, Former MP and State President of Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress, INTTUC, Ritabrata Banerjee said, “There will not be any area, block or locality in Bengal where her message for 21st July will not reach. This will be surely happening here but also outside Bengal wherever her message will be broadcasted.”
This year, Trinamool Congress to consolidate and expand its political prowess will stream the online Shaheed Diwas programme in other states too. Going national, TMC will be broadcasting Mamata’s speech on the martyrs and the party’s rise to power, in other states like Tripura, Manipur, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. With the COVID pandemic at hand, the programme will be held online through virtual means, and with the party releasing its campaign tagline, TMC is seen to gear up with preparations for the 2024 National Elections.
The trams are coloured blue and white, a trademark favourite of the party supremo, and is embellished with large posters of her against the Indian tricolour and the party symbol: grass flowers. Banerjee said that he believes that this initiative will render the message of Mamata to uncountable people across India.
Putting some historical context on the initiative, Banerjee said, “This initiative is nothing new, it has been going on since 1994 with a break for a few years in between.” After referring to the recent controversy of the Pegasus spy case, he took a hit at the BJP and said, “BJP wants to establish a dictatorship inside India. Everywhere the fight is against BJP, not just in Bengal. It is clear that in the recent fight against the BJP in Bengal Assembly Elections, Mamata Banerjee emerged as the Victorypillar. And for this nationwide fight against BJP, we are celebrating 21st July.”
Keeping in mind the upcoming third wave of the pandemic, Banerjee said that the programme will work in tandem with COVID-19 restrictions. According to him, there will be 50 volunteers at each booth, who will maintain adequate social distancing.
Although Trinamool Congress is the ruling party in the state, Trams are run with government funds. In respect to the concerns of the party capitalising on state funds to further its own cause and promote itself, Banerjee said, “There is nothing of that sort. There is no misuse of government funds. We are following all legal provisions and using trams after giving the fees. We are the filling up the process, and no stones will be left unturned.”
Shaheed Diwas or Martyr’s Day, held to commemorate 21st July 1993, is a day to remember the deaths of 13 TMC workers in Bengal in protests against the then Left regime. A watershed moment for Mamata Banerjee’s rise to power, 21st July is celebrated with much fanfare and popularity in Bengal, making it fateful in the politics of the state.