15 - 05 - 2021

Mamata Banerjee makes, serves tea during village visit

Kolkata,Aug 22,2019: Donning the role of a tea-seller, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was spotted brewing some cups at a stall during her official tour to state's coastal town of Digha, instantly catching the eye of social media users.

While inspecting the area to ensure better facilities for tourists, Banerjee suddenly asked her convoy to stop in front of a tea shack.

Her security officials and other administrative officials were clueless on why the CM had asked to stop her convoy at Duttapur area all of a sudden. Before anyone could guess, 'Didi' simply walked into the shack and asked the owner if she could make tea for the customers.

The tea stall owner was taken aback by her gesture and greeted Banerjee with folded hands and helped her brew tea. When the tea was ready, she politely asked the tea stall owner to serve it.

At the time of Didi's chai-wali avatar, party leaders like Suvendu Adhikary and Subrata Mukherjee were also present. In the meantime, a large number of local people gathered in the area to have a glimpse of the chief minister.

She distributed cupcakes, chocolates among the children, and also took one of them in her arms and inquired about his education. "Sometimes the little joys in life can make us happy. Making and sharing some nice tea (cha/chai) is one of them. Today, in Duttapur, Digha," she tweeted.

This is not the first time that Mamata took some time out for herself. In January, she found time out of her tight schedule for a game of badminton in Birbhum district's Bolpur during an administrative meeting. Later, she tweeted the video of herself with a caption, "We love sports. A token game in a village." But her tea-seller avatar in Digha is reminiscent of Narendra Modi's 'chaiwallah' pitch before he became the prime minister for the first time in 2014.

As Banerjee is facing a strong anti-incumbency wave in Bengal which brought her tally from 34 to 22 seats in the recently held Lok Sabha polls, team 'PK' (Prashant Kishor) is silently working on a 'complete image makeover' of TMC chief.

Party leaders felt that this could be her initiative towards an image makeover after poll strategist Prashant Kishor advised her to keep things 'measured'.

( input from new agencies)


Congress Names Adhir Chowdhury Lok Sabha Chief

Kolkata, June 18,2019:The Congress today named senior West Bengal leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury its leader in Lok Sabha, after failing to convince Rahul Gandhi to take up the post. At the long-pending strategy session this morning - where Mr Gandhi and his mother UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were present - the matter was discussed. A letter has been written to Lok Sabha, saying Mr Chowdhury would be the leader of the single largest party from the opposition and represent it at all important selection committees.

The party also focused on tomorrow's meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss his "One nation one election" idea. The Congress has so far opposed it, arguing against it from practical, logistical and legal angles.

The question of a Lok Sabha leader opened up after the party's senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge lost the election. But the Congress was soft-pedalling on the issue as it wanted Rahul Gandhi for the position.

But Mr Gandhi, since the party's rout in the national election, has been insistent on giving up the party chief's post. The party has refused to accept it and there has been an impasse for weeks.

With the Lok Sabha being convened yesterday, the party today opted for an alternative.

Along with Adhir Chowdhury, Kerala leader K Suresh, party spokesperson Manish Tewari and Thiruvanathapuram lawmaker Shashi Tharoor were reportedly in the running for the post.

But Mr Chowdhury - a five-time member of the Lok Sabha - was chosen in view of his long experience in the parliament and the party.

Celebrities Join Docs In Kolkata Rally Demanding Dialogue

Kolkata, June 15,2019: Expressing solidarity with the protesting doctors of West Bengal, a number of film personalities, singers, painters, civil right activists and common people on Friday participated in a 2-kilometre march here alongside medicos of various hospitals.

The participants walked from NRS Medical College and Hospital – the epicentre of the protests – to Calcutta National Medical College carrying placards and banners reading “Enough is Enough”, “Stop violence against doctors” and “pashe achi” (we are with you).

There was constant shouting of slogans like “We want Justice” while some hummed “We shall overcome”.

Donning her signature sunglasses and a big hat, renowned actor-filmmaker Aparna Sen walked alongside other personalities like painter Samir Aich, musicians Debojyoti Mishra and Anupam Roy, human rights activist Binayak Sen and so on.

“As a citizen of India, I request the Chief Minister to go as a guardian of the junior doctors and listen to them. I request you with folded hands to meet them and facilitate dialogue,” Sen said.

She said that the young medicos “are also feeling bad” about depriving the patients of getting treatment.

“But it the administration’s responsibility to take care of the situation,” she said.

“Apart from condemning the kind of violence visited upon these young doctors, we also feel that the whole of the political economy of ill health in India needs to be addressed for any lasting solution,” Binayak Sen, paediatrician cum public health specialist said.

Many senior doctors of state-run and private hospitals were seen walking with a fake bandages on the forehead.

“We want to convey the message that we have been injured and almost brutally assaulted. We are here to treat people,” a doctor said.

As the procession moved ahead, more and more participants joined from various points.

Condemning the attack on the junior doctors, singer-songwriter Anupam Roy said: “It is a time of severe crisis and all of us want a quick solution. No doctor wants to participate in such rallies. The administration has to take steps for the betterment of West Bengal.”


Political upheaval in West Bengal as three MLAs switch to BJP

Kolkata, May 28,2019: In what would come as a big blow to Mamata Banerjee, a Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday. Additionally, one CPM MLA, one Congress MLA and at least 50 TMC councillors also switched allegiance to the saffron party.

The TMC MLA who crossed over to BJP was Subhranshu Roy - son of BJP leader Mukul Roy who was suspended by TMC for six years for anti-party comments - from Bijpur. Congress' Tushar Kanti Bhattacharjee from Bishnupur and  CPM's Debendra Nath Roy from Hemtabad joined the party. They were welcomed to the party by BJP general secretary and party in-charge for West Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya. "This is only the start. PM Narendra Modi had said during campaigning that many MLAs from TMC had reached out to us. TMC had denied this but today, you can see what the state of the party is. This is a result of what Mamata has done in West Bengal. " he said. "Like the elections were held in seven phases in West Bengal, joinings in BJP will also happen in seven phases. Today was just the first phase."

Vijayvargiya also said that there are many from TMC who have expressed their interest to join the BJP but not everyone would be selected. "There are many people who feel suffocated in TMC and have been reaching out to us. It is not our fault. We will have a selection process for them."

Denying accusations from Mamata that BJP is indulging in horse-trading, Roy said that she should introspect rather than point fingers. "TMC has indulged in wide-spread and rampant violence and not many in their party is okay with that. They are coming to us out of their own free will," he said, adding that BJP will register a thumping performance in the Assembly election in West Bengal in 2020.

BJP had no presence in West Bengal till Lok Sabha election 2014 when it won two seats. This year, the party fought a bitter battle against TMC and managed to secure a record 18 seats in Lok Sabha election 2019. Several party leaders have since said that TMC is like a singking ship and that people of West Bengal will teach them a lesson.

Bengal sees saffron surge, Mamata congratulates winners

Kolkata, May 23,2019:West Bengal seems to be headed for a saffron surge, with the BJP leading in 19 seats and the ruling All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) ahead in 22 out of 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

The Congress is leading in one Lok Sabha seat, while the Left is yet to take a lead in any of the constituencies.

In the outgoing 16th Lok Sabha, the TMC has 34 seats in West Bengal, whereas the BJP has only two.

The Congress and the CPI (M)-led Left Front have four and two seats, respectively.

Congratulating the winners, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee called for a complete review of the results.

"Congratulations to the winners. But all losers are not losers. We have to do a complete review and then we will share our views with you all. Let the counting process be completed fully and the VVPATs match," she tweeted.

BJP's national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said the trends show that the days of "TMC's misrule is numbered in Bengal".

"The initial trends reflect the anti-TMC mood. Despite so much terror in Bengal, the people have reposed faith in BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. The days of TMC's misrule are numbered in Bengal," Vijayvargia said.

As per the current EC trends, the TMC has so far secured 44.61 per cent votes, closely followed by the BJP, which has bagged 39.03 per cent votes.

The CPI (M) and the Congress have garnered a meagre 6.66 per cent and 5.44 per cent share of the pie respectively.

In Asansol, Union minister Babul Supriyo is leading by 75,971 votes against Moon Moon Sen of the TMC.

SS Ahluwalia, another Union minister and BJP candidate from Burdwan-Durgapur Lok Sabha eat, is leading by 23,444 votes against Mamtaz Sanghamita of the TMC.

Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, is leading by 1,48,834 votes in Diamond Harbour constituency. He is the sitting MP from the seat.

In Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, BJP candidate Raju Bista is leading by 1,75,535 votes against Amar Singh Rai of the TMC.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh is leading by 5,051 votes against Manas Ranjan Bhunia of the TMC in Medinipur.

In Barrackpore seat, TMC candidate Dinesh Trivedi is trailing by 5221 votes against BJP's Arjun Singh.

In Malda North seat, BJP's Khagen Murmu is leading by 1789 votes against Mausam Noor of the AITC.

In Kolkata North constituency, two-time TMC MP from the seat, Sudip Bandopadhyay, is leading by 22034 votes against Rahul Sinha of the BJP.

In Jangipur Lok Sabha seat, Khalilur Rahman of the TMC is leading by 1,13,845 votes against BJP's Mafuja Khatun.

Former president Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit, who had won the seat by a narrow margin of 8,161 votes in the 2014 general elections, is now trailing the third position.

In Ghatal Lok Sabha seat, TMC candidate and popular actor Dipak Adhikari (Dev) is leading by 36,003 votes against former IPS officer and BJP candidate Bharati Ghosh.

In the prestigious Kolkata South seat, TMC's Mala Roy is leading by a margin of over four lakh votes against BJP's Chandra Kumar Bose, grandnephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

In Hooghly Lok Sabha seat, BJP's Locket Chatterjee is leading by 65,727 votes against Ratna De Nag of the AITC.

In Purulia, Jyotirmay Singh Mahato of the BJP is leading by 6,27,19 votes against Mriganka Mahato of the TMC.

In Raiganj, BJP's Debasree Chaudhuri is leading by 4699 votes against AITC's Kanialal Agarwal.

Sougata Roy of the TMC is leading by 2,73,11 votes against Samik Bhattacharya of BJP in Dum Dum Lok Sabha seat.

Nishith Pramanik of the BJP is trailing behind TMC's Paresh Chandra Adhikary by 3,14,78 votes in Coochbehar.

In Basirhat, TMC candidate and actor Nusrat Jahan Ruhi is leading by 141096 votes against BJP's Sayantan Basu.

Mahua Moitra of the AITC is leading by 7,24,52 votes against Kalyan Chaubey of the BJP in Krishnagar, while West Bengal Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee is trailing behind Subhas Sarkar of the BJP by 24,561 votes in Bankura.

In Baharampur, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress is leading by 34,415 votes against Apurba Sarkar of the TMC.

In Alipurduar seat in North Bengal, John Barla of the BJP is leading by 94280 votes against TMC's Dasrath Tirkey.

In Barasat Lok Sabha seat, Kakoli Ghoshdastidar                of the TMC is leading by a margin of 69,446 votes against Mrinal Kanti Debnath of the BJP.

In Arambagh constituency, Aparupa Poddar of the TMC is ahead of her rival Tapan Kumar Ray of the BJP by 11,862 votes.

In Uluberia seat, Sajda Ahmed of the TMC is leading by 14,62,14 votes against Joy Banerjee of the BJP.

In Jadavpur seat, AITC candidate and actor Mimi Chakraborty is leading by 127129 votes against Anupam Hazra of the saffron party.

In Sreerampore, sitting MP and AITC candidate Kalyan Banerjee is leading by 9,320 votes against BJP's Debjit Sarkar.

The saffron party, it seems, is cutting a swathe in TMC turf of Bengal, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed 17 poll rallies, with focus on the issues of NRC and the Citizenship bill.

The party is seen making substantial gains in areas close to the India-Bangladesh border, which have a substantial minority population.

In Jangalmahal area too, the BJP can be seen marching ahead of its rivals.

 With trends favouring BJP at the Centre as well as in Bengal, the saffron party workers and supporters have burst into celebrations outside its state headquarters here and elsewhere in the districts. ( input from news agency)


BJP's Anupam Hazra touches TMC leader Anubrata Mondal's feet, party seeks explanation

Kolkata, April 30,2019: Pictures of Jadavpur BJP candidate Anupam Hazra touching the feet of TMC Birbhum chief Anubrata Mondal on Monday has triggered a huge political controversy in West Bengal amidst the election season. About which, Hazra, describing the Birbhum strongman as his 'uncle', said that he met him only to offer condolences on his mother's demise.

However, the meeting has not gone down well with BJP and the party has sought an explanation from Hazra.

"I came to Bolpur to cast my vote after which I heard that Mondal's mother has expired. So, I came to meet him since he is like my uncle and he is my senior former political colleague. We had differences but now it's solved and I can say he is the best in Birbhum," Hazra, the former TMC Bolpur MP, said.

He joined the BJP last month after being expelled from the TMC for anti-party activities.

"This was courtesy visit and we should not politicize this matter," Hazra reacted.