West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee during her visit to Meghalaya ahead of the state assembly elections, in North Garo Hills on January 18 | ANI Photo

West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chairperson, Mamata Banerjee on January 18 kicked off her party’s campaign for the February 27 assembly elections in Meghalaya.

Banerjee was accompanied by Trinamool leaders, including Abhishek Banerjee and Derek O’Brien.

Addressing the election rally at the Dilma Apal Playground in Mendipathar assembly constituency under North Garo Hills district, the TMC supremo urged people “to empower the people, uphold the culture, celebrate the sacred land of Meghalaya, and dislodge the proxy BJP government, which is corrupt and hasn’t done anything for the people.”

“If you want to change the corrupt and discredited government, then there is no alternative to TMC. In Meghalaya, you have a proxy government of the centre and Guwahati. BJP has two faces. Double engine means they will say something before the election and do something else after polls,” the West Bengal chief minister said.

“Why should a de-facto prime minister from Guwahati run all the Northeast regions? People must commit that this time, no matter what proposals come from MDA and BJP, they will not bow their heads to anyone. This time, they will restore the pride and glory for the future of the younger generation of Meghalaya, for women empowerment, for farmers, for media, and for all people irrespective of their caste, community, and creed,” she said.

While listing the failures of the NPP-led MDA government, Mamata Banerjee said: “What has this government done in the past five years? We challenge them to show their report card on what they did in the past five years. Why is it that after so many years, electricity hasn’t reached Meghalaya? Why is the younger generation not getting any employment opportunities?”

Thanking the people for their faith in Meghalaya TMC’s vision, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee said: “Looking at the love, appreciation, and enthusiasm of the people, I can say that NPP will not be able to win a single assembly seat from Garo Hills.”

“If voted to power, the people of the soil would run the government in Meghalaya, unlike those leaders who run governments from the ivory towers of Guwahati and Delhi,” Abhishek assured.

Leader of opposition Mukul Sangma highlighted the “atrocities” of the MDA government and their incessant failures in protecting the people of Meghalaya.

“We need to defend our tribe and fight against the BJP, not with mere weapons but with the power of unity. In the border issue between Meghalaya and Assam, we have seen that the lands were given to Assam. This is because of the failure of the remote-controlled government. Over 13,850 acres of land have been given to Assam and we have to retrieve it,” Sangma claimed.

The former Congress chief minister-turned TMC leader also called out “BJP’s lies” in the public meeting saying: “In 2021, BJP made tall claims that they would form the government in West Bengal decimating the TMC. But under the leadership of our Didi, BJP was decimated. If TMC can decimate BJP in Bengal, the people of Meghalaya can do the same here under the banner of Trinamool.”

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