Eye on 2024, TMC to air Mamata Banerjee’s Martyrs’ Day speech in various languages across India
The West Bengal chief minister will address people virtually for the second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In West Bengal, the speech will be aired in Bengali, in which Banerjee will originally deliver it, while translated versions in local languages will be telecast in different states, he said.
In Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s home turf Gujarat, where assembly elections are due in 2022, the TMC plans to air Banerjee’s speech on giant screens in several districts and has already started distributing leaflets in Gujarati informing people about the scheduled programme, the TMC leader said.
“Modi and Shah had taken the lead in BJP’s campaign during the West Bengal elections. Now, it’s our turn to spread Didi’s message in Gujarat and other states,” he said.
The party is also planning similar programmes in Uttar Pradesh, which will also go to the polls next year.
The chief minister’s nephew and Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee, after taking charge as the party’s all- India general secretary, had vowed to spread the TMC’s wings in other states to achieve a pan-India presence.
Deft organiser Mukul Roy, who has recently returned to the TMC from the BJP, has been given the charge for spreading the party’s presence across the country.
Graffiti and posters projecting Banerjee as ‘Amma’, a sobriquet attached to late AIADMK leader Jayalalitha, have come up in Chennai, as the TMC tries to make inroads into the southern states with its first foray being in Tamil Nadu.
Plans of a rainbow coalition against the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections are being nurtured in various quarters, with even the CPI(M) expressing its willingness to be a part of the bandwagon at the national level along with the TMC, its bitter rival in West Bengal.
Banerjee, a veteran in national politics, has said that she will visit New Delhi for a few days after the July 21 programme to meet “old and new friends”.
She also plans to go to the Parliament, which will be in session then, and hold parleys with senior leaders.
The TMC chief may meet Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and other top opposition leaders during her visit.
Banerjee has said that she may also meet President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi if she gets appointments with them.
The TMC observes July 21 as Martyrs’ Day in remembrance of the 13 people who were killed in police firing in a rally of Youth Congress, of which Banerjee was then a leader, in Kolkata in 1993 demanding that voter identity cards be made the sole document required for voting to ensure free and fair elections.