Kolkata: Just before the eight-phase West Bengal Assembly elections, the state saw two blockbuster events on Sunday.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed at Brigade Parade ground in the capital city for his first rally in the state since election dates were announced, while Trinamool supremo Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee walked the streets of Siliguri in north Bengal in an all-women rally, to protest against fuel price hike.
Abhishek Hazra, a member of the Matua community who had also attended Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s rally in Thakurnagar last month, said: “I share the same first name with Mamata’s nephew. But the famous aunt of my namesake is so busy in ‘abhishek’ (coronation) of her nephew that she has forgotten the people of Bengal. She had given us assurance that we are the citizens of India and despite having voter ID and Aadhar, we are treated like second-grade citizens. She might have done a lot for Boroma but after her demise, she has forgotten us. We feel that the BJP is also giving us false hopes on NRC. They might also forget us after elections. But what Amit Shah said in his rally in Thakurnagar is right. At this point, vaccination against coronavirus is more important than our citizenship.”
Sanjiv Guin, another Matua, felt that Modi’s Ayushman Bharat scheme has been beneficial to a lot of people. It should be applied in Bengal too.
“Though the ceiling of treatment under Ayushman Bharat and Swasthya Sathi is Rs 5 lakh each, patients are refused admission with the Swasthya Sathi card in district and Kolkata hospitals. Many critical patients are dying due to lack of treatment. We would like to get benefit under the central scheme,” said Guin.
Mithun, who was once close to the CPI(M) and even campaigned for the party, later switched allegiance to Trinamool Congress after Mamata Banerjee came to power. He later admitted that joining the TMC was a mistake. “Yes, it was a bad decision on my part.”
Satisfying his multitude of fans, he delivered the famous dialogue from his film ‘MLA Phatakeshto’ — “Marbo ekhane, lash porbe shoshane” (I will hit you here, you will land up in the cemetery). He followed it up with another of his popular film dialogue – ‘Ami cobra… ek chobol e chobi” (I’m a cobra… One bite and you are finished).
“Ami Bangali (I’m a Bengali, a son of the soil. Keep faith in Dada (he meant himself). Whatever Dada says, he delivers. He never looks the other way.”