The Trinamool Congress is preparing for its annual martyr’s day rally on July 21, which party chief Mamata Banerjee will address virtually like she did last year as well. But this year’s address will be her first major address after the party’s victory in the West Bengal Assembly elections. It will also be the first time that the rally will be broadcast in several other states, including Tripura, Assam, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, Trinamool sources say.
Mamata Banerjee is expected to launch a scathing attack on the BJP at her virtual rally, which also comes just days before her visit to New Delhi on July 25. She will be in the national capital through the week and meet several other opposition leaders. She is likely to call on AICC leader Sonia Gandhi, though no appointment has been confirmed yet by either side. Akhilesh Yadav and Arvind Kejriwal are expected to call on her as well. All eyes are on the possibilities of an opposition alliance emerging ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
If the Prime Minister and the President give her time, the Bengal Chief Minister has said she would certainly meet them as well.
Her visit to Delhi comes at a time when the Calcutta High Court is hearing a case on post-poll violence in which the National Human Rights Council, in its report, has said “: There is no rule of law in Bengal, only the law of the ruler” or the ruling party.
NHRC has recommended a CBI probe and labelled several Trinamool leaders, including a minister, as “notorious criminals”.
Mamata Banerjee was outraged that the NHRC report has allegedly been leaked and claimed “misinformation” by members of the team linked to the BJP.
“How they leaked news of what they submitted to the court if not for political vendetta and give a bad name to Bengal though it is not at all true? Only to malign the people of Bengal because they have lost the election, that’s why this is their political vendetta” she said, adding, “UP is out of rule of law.”
The case will be heard next on July 22. The state may go to the Supreme Court before that.
The BJP is mounting pressure on the issue. On Sunday, its SC Morcha leader, Dulal Bar demanded President’s rule in Bengal based on the NHRC report. Mr Bar claimed that of 42 persons – BJP supporters – killed in the last two months, 29 were members of the SC/ST community. The BJP body had earlier submitted 1,627 complaints of atrocities to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Mr Bar said, and was submitting 5170 complaints today.
“We are demanding the resignation of all the Trinamool leaders named in the NHRC report and, in the interest of saving the people, we are demanding the imposition of President’s Rule in Bengal otherwise the state may become separated from the rest of the country,” Mr Bar said.
On Friday, BJP spokesman Samik Bhattacharya had said, “The contents of the (NHRC) report, its recommendations indicate a breakdown of the constitutional machinery in West Bengal. Now the custodian of the Indian constitution, the interpreter of the constitution – they may intervene. But the BJP in Bengal is not demanding Article 356. We are philosophically, ideologically against the same.”