Bratya Basu asks Left supporters to join TMC if CPI(M) leaders are failing to fight BJP

“People are looking for shelter against BJP-backed and state-sponsored terror tactics. We were booked and harassed but Mamata Di is with us,” he said.

After a major influx from Congress in the last few weeks, Trinamool Congress (TMC) Saturday trained its guns at CPI(M) and said communist leaders should let their supporters join TMC if they can’t come out in the streets and protest against BJP.

TMC, which started its Tripura chapter in 1999 along with former Chief Minister Late Sudhir Ranjan Majumder, saw a major swell in its ranks here since Mamata Banerjee’s recent West Bengal poll victory.

A host of Congress leaders, including former minister Prakash Das, former MLA Subal Bhowmik, Youth Congress working president Santanu Saha, former municipal councillor Panna Deb, and others joined TMC recently. Sources also say more are waiting to join the party.

Speaking to reporters at a city-based hotel here this afternoon, West Bengal education minister Bratya Basu said his party’s experience on BJP in Tripura and West Bengal have been no different as the saffron party is allegedly resorting to violent tactics in both the states.

“People are looking for shelter against BJP-backed and state-sponsored terror tactics. We were booked and harassed but Mamata Di is with us,” Basu said.

He also criticised CPIM and other Left parties for “not being in the streets” to protest BJP.

Basu questioned the role of opposition CPIM and asked the communist party to abstain from making way for BJP by opposing TMC. He appealed Left activists to join TMC if their leaders aren’t standing by them in times of crisis.

Reacting to the allegations, CPIM state secretary Goutam Das told indianexpress.com that communists are “very much” in the field against BJP.

“We are the ones who are facing the harshest brunt of BJP’s violence. Our party workers came under attack following a rally at Khowai district two days back, our incumbent MLA’s house was bombed and party offices were ransacked,” Das said, adding, TMC is trying to gather support by making baseless comments.

He also said TMC can’t deny their role in BJP’s 2018 Tripura win and claimed the results were also engineered by six Trinamool MLAs who jumped ship to the saffron party a few months before the elections.

Basu was accompanied by Parliamentarians Dr Santanu Sen, Kakali Ghosh Dastidar, Arpita Ghosh, Abir Biswas, Abu Taher, Arjun awardee Prasun Banerjee among others along with Tripura TMC leaders Subal Bhowmik and Ashish Lal Singh.

The leaders expressed confidence to win in the next assembly polls scheduled in 2023.

The TMC honchos also said a large number of leaders from Congress and BJP are in touch with the party and the final call would be taken by the party’s general secretary Abhishek Banerjee.

Asked about TMC’s choice of leadership in Tripura, Basu said his party will focus on organisational strength instead of deciding a face for now.

Trinamool Congress secured 0.3% vote share in the 2018 assembly elections. BJP, which emerged victorious with 43.59% votes along with ally IPFT, which received 7.38% votes, had received 1.54% votes in the 2013 election.

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