Trinamool Congress (TMC) spokesperson Debangshu Bhattacharya, in his visit to Tripura during late July 2021, gave a liberal dose of “Bengali Cultural” sermon to the people of Tripura to make his Party’s entry path in that state. He emphasized the cultural similarity of West Bengal and Tripura to justify the political claim of TMC over Tripura people.
What he forgot was that, culture of West Bengal, Tripura and Bangladesh has many similarities. But it did not make any sense in politics. If Bengali culture was the core foundation of TMC’s politics, then how Debangshu would justify the presence of his party in the states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan etc? What “All India” essence his “All India Trinamool Congress” was carrying? Was that “All India” component a farce only?
The next argument Debangshu gave, to stake his party’s moral claim over Tripura, was funnier. He criticized Modi-Shah and Gujarat for controlling BJP party in other states from Gujarat. He was lamenting that BJP leaders of West Bengal did not have any decision making capacity.
Debangshu’s above argument had two fundamental flaws. Firstly, BJP was a national party and as top BJP leadership of the day was from Gujarat, Modi-Shah was controlling major decision makings in the party. Secondly, he did not clarify as to where TMC’s decision making power would rest, if it had a base in Gujarat? Would not Mamata Banerjee, from Kolkata, control Gujarat TMC branch? Moreover Congress, another national party, was being controlled by Sonia Gandhi from Delhi. Debangshu could not understand the difference between the workings of a state level party like TMC and national party like BJP.
The next point of Debangshu was weird. He gave a sweeping statement that during freedom struggle, Tripura and West Bengal were making sacrifices, but others were working as stooges of British government. Ambiguity of the statement knew no bounds. Motivated ignorance of history led him to say so. Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the earlier avatar of BJP, was founded in 1951 and TMC was founded during 1998. So, how there could be TMC vis-à-vis BJP during freedom struggle? It was a fashion in West Bengal that each political party claimed to be the pole bearer of freedom struggle, by demeaning other political parties.
The ‘culture obsessed’ Debangshu was to know that about forty lakhs of labourers from West Bengal worked outside the state to earn livelihood. Many such laberours also were located in Gujarat. Why TMC government could not arrange for their livelihood within the state? Were those labourers supposed to eat and drink ‘Bengali culture’ in West Bengal?
Debangshu also claimed that if TMC could come to power in Tripura during Assembly election in 2023, it would, like West Bengal, give “Sathya Sathi” cards to all people of Tripura for their free hospital treatment. But treatments were already free in all government hospitals of India. And private hospitals were very few in Tripura. Moreover, even in West Bengal “Sathya Sathi” cards fell flat on face as private hospitals refused to entertain such hollow cards. Debangshu was trying to trap people of Tripura through a gross lie.
More funnily, Debangshu promised replication of all so called ‘SRI-Schemes’ and ‘free ration’ of West Bengal in Tripura, if TMC could come to power in the state during 2023. He was pathologically silent about employment, job creation and industrialization of Tripura. In other words, he was promising to make the people of the state ‘free loaders’ only.