TMC will contest elections in neighbouring states: Mamata

TMC president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday said her party would contest elections in neighbouring states such as Jharkhand and Assam to protect the people from alleged attacks by the BJP.

Accusing the saffron party of attempting to divide the nation on religious lines, she urged the people not to fall prey to any provocation.

"Our party will contest elections in the neighbouring states to protect people from saffron attacks," Banerjee said at a public meeting in the state's coal belt here in West Burdwan district.

She alleged the BJP was bringing in paid goons from Jharkhand to foment trouble in the districts adjacent to the state, and Bengalis and Biharis were being driven away from Assam which was ruled by the saffron party.

"We will contest Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections in Jharkhand in future. We will also contest in Assam and Odisha," Banerjee said in the meeting.

Referring to the BJP's alleged attack on tribals in Jharkhand, she said the land of the tribals was being grabbed there. "We sent our team there to fight for their cause. The fight will continue in future," she said.

"Bengalis and Biharis are also being driven away from Assam. We want good relations with our neighbouring states. So we have decided to contest elections there. If an Adivasi is persecuted there, we will fight for them," she said.

Charging the BJP with trying to incite violence and divide the nation, Banerjee said her government would not allow this to happen.

She blamed the BJP and the CPI(M) for instigating people against the implementation of projects in the state.

These two parties were also asking people not to cooperate with the administration for rehabilitating residents of the subsidence-prone areas in Asansol, Raniganj and Jamuria, the Trinamool Congress leader claimed.

Noting that the state-run Durgapur Projects Ltd (DPL) would be restructured, she said a number of employment opportunities would be created through development of the world's second largest coal reserve at Deocha-Panchami near here.

About agriculture, she said "Bengal is the only state where khajna tax on agricultural land has been waived. We have done away with mutation fees on agricultural land."

During the last five years, she said, her government had brought a total change in the district by introducing a new airport, several hospitals, university and colleges.