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‘Against Authoritarian Rule’: Mamata Banerjee at TMC's Martyrs' Day Rally

TMC observes Martyrs' Day to honour 13 people who were killed by police firing at a Youth Congress rally in 1993.

Updated
Politics
3 min read
‘Against Authoritarian Rule’: Mamata Banerjee at TMC's Martyrs' Day Rally
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A large number of people from across West Bengal have congregated at Kolkata's Esplanade for the Martyr's Day rally by ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), being held amidst tight security on Thursday, 21 July.

Speaking at the rally, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, quoting Rabindranath Tagore, said, "Where the mind is without fear, where the head is held high."

Attacking the Union government, the West Bengal chief minister said:

"BJP is trying to break the government everywhere, this has become their job. In West Bengal, they tried to defeat us but could not succeed. It has been raining here and roads were full of water but our supporters did not move from here."

She further asserted that the saffron party will be swept away from the centre by the people's mandate in 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

"The BJP will be swept away from power by the people's mandate in 2024. They will be defeated. I can certainly say that the BJP will not get single-party majority, and once that happens, others will unite to form the next government," she said, as per news agency PTI.
  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Bengal CM and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee addressing the party's Martyr's Day Rally&nbsp;</p></div>

    Bengal CM and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee addressing the party's Martyr's Day Rally&nbsp;

    (Photo: PTI/Swapan Mahapatra)

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>Shatrughan Sinha at TMC Martyr's Day Rally</p></div>

    Shatrughan Sinha at TMC Martyr's Day Rally

    (Photo: PTI/Swapan Mahapatra)

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>TMC supporters gather in a large number to observe the Martyrs Day, in Kolkata on Thursday.</p></div>

    TMC supporters gather in a large number to observe the Martyrs Day, in Kolkata on Thursday.

    (Photo: PTI/Swapan Mahapatra)

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>The TMC's Martyr's Day Rally</p></div>

    The TMC's Martyr's Day Rally

    (Photo: Debayan Dutta/The Quint)

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>The TMC's Martyr's Day Rally</p></div>

    The TMC's Martyr's Day Rally

    (Photo: Debayan Dutta/The Quint)

She further accused the BJP of destroying all the democratic institutions of the country.

“Break BJP's prison, bring people's government in 2024,“ said the TMC chief amid thunderous applause.

Terming the recent GST hike introduced by the Union government as "anti-people," she wondered what the underprivileged people of the country eat when the BJP has introduced GST on everything, including milk powder and puffed rice. "How will the poor survive in this country?" she questioned.

Further, she warned the BJP that it would get a befitting response if the party tries to unseat the Bengal government, like it did in Maharashtra.

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'PM Modi's Governance Reflects Dictatorship': Shatrughan Sinha

Addressing the huge gathering at the rally, TMC MP Shatrughan Sinha contended that while the government under late former Prime Minister (PM) Atal Bihari Vajpayee projected 'lokshahi' (democracy), that of PM Modi reflected 'tanashahi' (dictatorship).

Vajpayee was a "pro-people father figure and statesman," Sinha, who had been a Union minister in the Vajpayee cabinet said.

The actor-turned-politician, who was recently elected as Asansol MP, also attacked the BJP over unemployment, demonetisation, Agnipath scheme and GST hike.

Calling Mamata Banerjee as the "most acceptable leader in the country" he said, "What Bengal thinks today, India will think tomorrow." Although she was wheel chair bound, Banerjee led the campaigns during last assembly polls and won after obtaining a massive mandate, he said.

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Meanwhile, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, while addressing the rally, said that the party will continue with its expansion plans outside West Bengal and will win seats outside the state in 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

He warned a section of TMC workers against indulging in corruption and said no one is above party discipline.

"I was made the party national general secretary a year back and tasked with expanding the party outside West Bengal. I will not stop till our party symbol blooms in every nook and corner of the country. We will win seats outside the state in the next Lok Sabha polls."
TMC National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee
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The TMC's Martyr's Day Rally

The annual rally is being held after a gap of two years due to theCOVID-19 pandemic and is highlighted by an address by TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. This year's rally is also special as it is the first after the party's decisive victory in the state election in 2021 and TMC's return to power for the third consecutive term.

At least 4,500 police personnel have been deployed across the city to maintain law and order in during the day.

The TMC observes Martyrs' Day on 21 July every year to commemorate the killing of 13 people in police firing on a Youth Congress rally by the then Left Front government in 1993 when Banerjee was the YC state president.

She continues to observe the day even after forming the Trinamool Congress in 1998 and coming to power in West Bengal in 2011.

On Wednesday, Mamata Banerjee had said that the Martyrs' Day rally will be against the Centre's "authoritarian rule."

(With inputs from PTI.)

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