KOLKATA: For the first time Trinamool Congress will screen its Martyrs’ Day rally outside West Bengal on July 21. The event, which will feature a speech by Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee will be screened in Delhi, Tripura and Assam.
The decision to screen the event outside the state comes as the party is seeking to play a bigger role on the national stage ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. “This time, the event will be screened on giant screens at TMC’s office in Delhi. Our party MPs will be present there as Parliament session will begin on July 19. Our party supporters in Delhi will campaign in Delhi, highlighting the event,’’ said TMC’s Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy.
The party has been organising Martyrs’ Day to commemorate the 1993 incident in which 13 party supporters were gunned down by the police, during a protest rally organised under the banner of the Youth Congress and led by Mamata.
The party was formed in 1998 and since then it has been observing the event annually. “By organising the virtual event in Delhi, we are going to deliver a message that the TMC’s presence will become prominent in the national politics in 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Besides, the Northeast states like Tripura and Assam appear to be fertile ground for the party in near future,’’ said a TMC leader.
Having dealt a blow to the BJP in West Bengal, the TMC is now eyeing foothold in Assam. It is also hoping to take advantage of the BJP’s factional feuds in Tripura, ahead of the 2023 Asembly elections there. In 2016, six Congress MLAs from Tripura had defected to the BJP and Mukul Roy was seen as instrumental in the process. Now, there is a buzz that Roy, who recently returned to the fold of Bengal’s ruling party, will be tasked with help ing the TMC grow its foothold in the Northeast.
“We will bank on factionalism in the BJP,’’ said another TMC leader. Mamata is also seeking to make use of the discontent over NRC to her party’s advantage in Assam. “During her campaign for the Assembly elections, she raised the issue repeatedly and extended her support to those who were left out of the NRC,” said the leader.