Shillong (Meghalaya), Dec 13 : On Tuesday , All India Trinamool Congress Chairperson Ms. Mamata Banerjee, addressed thousands of enthusiastic party workers and members of Meghalaya TMC, at the U Soso ThamAuditorium, here . Members of the State, District and Block committees along with members from Women, Youth and Student frontals of the Party were also present at the gathering.
The event began by commemorating the victims of Mukroh firing incident, in which five innocent civilians from Meghalaya lost their lives. The AITC Chairperson expressed her deep anguish over the MDA government’s abject silence and utter inaction.
Explaining the genesis of the Trinamool Congress, the Bengal Chief Minister said, “When I first started Trinamool Congress in 1998, there were Parliament Elections slated in the next two months. People, at that time, were not even aware of our party symbol. But we fought hard, and won 7 Lok Sabha seats. Today, Trinamool Congress has 36 MPs, and we raise the voice of people in the Parliament.”
Ms Banerjee castigated the NPP-led MDA government for their misgovernance. “Why is BJP neglecting Meghalaya, why are they neglecting the North East? Why is Meghalaya being run from Guwahati and Delhi?” she questioned.
Taking a jibe, the AITC Chief recounted how BJP has implemented ‘Double-Engine Disaster’ in the State to weaken the essence of unity and harmony. “Five people were killed in Mukroh. There has been no response from the State government. The Meghalaya CM did not even bother to meet the victims’ family members.” Ms. Banerjee went on to add how the Bengal government always offers financial compensation to victims of any disaster. “In my state, if any untoward incident happens, I give compensation to the victims’ families and jobs to their next of kin,” she claimed.
Expressing her utter shock at the high maternal and infant mortality rate, Ms Banerjee said, “In Bengal, we respect the women-folk. All our flagship schemes are women-centric. Be it Kanyashree, where the girl child gets free education from the school-level to the university, or Swasthya Sathi (Health Insurance), where the cards are registered in the name of the women head of the family.”
Through the Party Workers’ Convention, she launched TMC’s flagship Meghalaya Financial Inclusion for Women Empowerment (MFI WE) scheme, promising a guaranteed income support of ₹1,000 per month (₹12,000 yearly) to a woman of every household in the state; on the lines of West Bengal’s successful Lakshmir Bhandar scheme which has already benefited 1.8 Crore women in the State. She reaffirmed her commitment to the women of Meghalaya through this unique campaign and instructed the party workers to ensure that this scheme reaches every household of the state.
AITC National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee, meanwhile, spoke about TMC’s humble beginnings in Meghalaya and how far the party has come within six months. “I remember telling Charles (Pyngrope) when I first came to Meghalaya on a political visit six months back. When we started the membership drive, we were only a handful back then. Today, I am proud to say that within six months, Trinamool Congress has emerged not just as the most prominent and formidable force in the state but also as an active family of 1 lakh members in Meghalaya.”
Optimistic about a change in Meghalaya, Abhishek Banerjee added that the State is on the cusp of change. “In February 2023, when elections take place here, you will see a new fresh democratic progressive government, that will work for every Meghalayan and the people of the soil.”
Banerjee also rubbished claims that AITC was a Bengali party and insisted that a Meghalayan will lead the State, unlike the current government, which is remote-controlled from either Guwahati or Delhi. “Meghalaya will have a government that will fight for the rights of the people. BJP brags and boasts about the ‘double-engine’ government. But how many times has Conrad (Sangma) gone to Delhi to file a memorandum or submit a deputation to include Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution? Not even once.”
Party workers present at the convention were also addressed by the Meghalaya TMC State President Dr Charles Pyngrope, who said that “being a pro-people and grassroot party, AITC remains the elementary institution of rural development. We will work tirelessly to transform Meghalaya into a model state. We are here to bring the change that the people of this State have been hoping for.”
Trinamool Congress Legislature Party Leader & Leader of Opposition Dr. Mukul Sangma, on the other hand, said that the day’s event remained a testimony of all the hard work Meghalaya TMC workers have put forth. “We shall not rest until we achieve the mission to provide a sense of security to all the people, especially to the people of villages and inter-state borders who are constantly being subjected to harassment and atrocities. We have come together collectively to end this oppression and suppression,” Dr Sangma said.
TMC State In-Charge Manas Ranjan Bhunia, meanwhile, targeted the NPP government over its continuous failure in upholding the rights of Meghalayans. “We must not forget the grave injustice people of this State have had to endure. Women, youth, teachers — none have been spared at the hands of the inept MDA Government.
Education is in shambles, healthcare lies dilapidated. Is this true development or degradation?” he questioned.