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Black Day for Indian Democracy: TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee after Releasing from Detention

Black Day for Indian Democracy: TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee after Releasing from Detention

On 3rd October 2023 (Tuesday), a TMC delegation led by TMC leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Abhishek Banerjee held a sit-in protest in Krishi Bhavan in New Delhi. According to the delegation, the Union Minister of State (MoS) for Rural Development, Sadhvi Niranjan Joyti, refused to meet them despite having an appointment to meet the Minister of State. 

Later, the Delhi Police detained the TMC delegation and evicted them from the ministry premises. After getting released from detention in the early hours of Wednesday, Abhishek Banerjee said it was a black day for Indian democracy while speaking to the media. 

Background

On 2nd October 2023 (Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary), a TMC delegation, including state ministers, party lawmakers, MGNREGA workers, and party supporters, headed by Abhisek Banerjee held a sit-in protest in Rajghat against the delay in the release of funds to the state under MGNREGA. The delegation was evicted from Rajghat by the Delhi Police after two hours.

On 3rd October 2023, the party delegation protested at Jantar Mantar over the same issue and held a march from Jantar Mantar to Krishi Bhavan (Ministry of Rural Development Office). 

The delegation had an appointment to meet the MoS for rural development, Sadhvi Niranjan Joyti, at Krishi Bhavan. The delegation had a bundle of letters addressed to the Prime Minister (PM). However, TMC leaders claimed that the MoS refused to meet them after making them wait for more than one and a half an hour. 

The TMC delegation sat on a dharna inside the Krishi Bhavan premises. Later, the Delhi Police detained the Delhi police and evicted them from the premises. 

In the wee hours of Wednesday (4th October 2023), the Delhi Police released the detained TMC delegation. After the release, Abhishek Banerjee addressed the media. 

While speaking to the media, Abhishek Banerjee referred to the day (3rd October 2023) as a Black Day for Indian democracy. Moreover, he also stated that the events of Tuesday (3rd October 2023) would serve as an example for the “New India” as people’s representatives were “pulled and mishandled” by the Delhi Police, and journalists who questioned the government were charged under the anti-terror law UAPA. 

Abhishek Banerjee Announced a ‘Raj Bhavan Chalo’ March

Abhishek Banerjee called for a ‘Raj Bhavan Chalo’ march on 5th October 2023 at 3:00 p.m. in Kolkata. According to him, this march is against the manhandling done by the Delhi Police. 

He stated that nearly one lakh people will march with him in Kolkata. Nearly fifty lakh letters will be given to West Bengal Governor C. V. Ananda Bose. He emphasized that he requires answers for every letter that will be submitted. 

Mamata Banerjee’s Reaction

TMC president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee strongly condemned the Delhi police’s actions against her party leaders.  “Today is a dark, sinister day for democracy, a day when BJP revealed their disdain for the people of Bengal, their disregard for the rights of the poor, and a complete abandonment of democratic values,” she said in a post on social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

“First, they callously withheld crucial funds meant for the poor of Bengal and when our delegation arrived in Delhi, determined to peacefully protest and draw attention to the plight of our people, they were met with brutality – first at Rajghat and then at Krishi Bhavan,” she said in the tweet.

Mamata Banerjee said the Delhi Police acted as the “BJP’s strong-arm” and “shamelessly manhandled” TMC leaders.

“… our representatives… were forcibly removed and whisked away in police vans like common criminals, all because they dared to speak truth to power. Their (BJP’s) arrogance knows no bounds and their pride and egotism have blinded them. They have now crossed all limits to repress the voice of Bengal,” she said.

To read the Tweet of Mamata Banerjee click here

BJP’s Protest in West Bengal

On 2nd October 2023, the BJP MLAs from West Bengal, led by the leader of opposition in West Bengal and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari, held a protest against the ruling TMC government over misgovernance, corruption, and mismanagement of government funds. 

The protest took place inside the West Bengal Assembly premises. The BJP MLAs were seen raising slogans and slowing placards while staging the protest. 

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