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Bengal politics: Mamata Banerjee uses the Hathras case a pawn to accumulate Dalit support

Ipshita Bagchi

The alleged gang-rape and subsequent death of a 19 year old girl in Hathras UP has caused a major upheaval in the lives of the victims family and massive rage among the citizens of India.

The inaction on the part of the BJP, which is the ruling party in UP, seems to be working in favour of the West Bengal CM as it sheds light upon the ignorance and callousness portrayed by the BJP. Coming down on the UP government, Mamata Banerjee, the Chief of Trinamool Congress and CM of West Bengal, marched in the protest rally organised by her party. 

The 3km long protest march started from Kolkata’s Birla Planitarium to the Gandhi statue on Mayo Road.

She addressed the rally at the end of the march making a call to develop a state-wide movement against this issue. Banerjee made this appeal to condemn the incident and to demur the complete ignorance portrayed by the BJP over the Hathras gang-rape.

 

Hathras gang rape: Protest rally led by Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata

She addressed the rally at the end of the march making a call to develop a state-wide movement against this issue. Banerjee made this appeal to condemn the incident and to demur the complete ignorance portrayed by the BJP over the Hathras gang-rape.

This is the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic that Mamata Banerjee has taken the fight to the streets to generate support against the BJP. 

She took upon various protests all over the state, in December 2019, to contest against the disputed Citizenship Amendment Act enacted by the BJP.

West Bengal accounts for 23.51% of the Dalit population in India.  Standing up for her people, Banerjee says,

“I would stand by the Dalit community till the end as my caste is “humanity” and I do not believe in differentiation on the grounds of caste and religion”.

At the rally she said that though she is physically not present there, her heart lives in Hathras with the victims’ family. She then called out the UP Police on stopping delegates of the TMC from meeting the family of the Hathras victim.

Further clawing at the BJP, Mamata Banerjee says “We need to fight against the atrocities faced by the Dalit community. They are totally unacceptable and cannot be excused”

“The country is currently being led by a dictatorship. Instead of a government for the people, it is turning into one ‘against the people’ ,” says Banerjee. 

Claiming these incidents to be ‘BJP sponsored’ torture, Banerjee says that the BJP is torturing those belonging to the Scheduled Caste community. She goes all in and states that 

BJP is the biggest pandemic of atrocities against Dalit and backward communities.”

The West Bengal CM is of the view that people are currently fighting a pandemic and that it is now time to fight the pandemic of BJP. Banerjee then announced that the three farm sector reform bills and atrocities against Dalits will be the major poll planks of TMC in the next assembly polls in 2021.

To further generate support against the BJP, Mamata asked party workers to meet Dalit families in Bengal and narrate to them the state of the backward classes in BJP-ruled states. It is fairly obvious that if the the BJP remains dormant while the other parties continue to push their agenda, the party will fail to generate support from the Dalit community for their next elections. 

The BJP has tirelessly tried to woo the people of the Dalit community of West Bengal, considering they account for one of the largest Dalit populations in the country. Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress Party has been in the forefront of advocacy for the justice of the Hathras victim in West Bengal. 

BJP’s ignorance coupled with Banerjee’s active participation for the justice of the Hathras victim, seems to have blurred the lines of BJP’s future in West Bengal.

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