Siliguri: Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee addressed students and youth of North Bengal at the Kanchenjungha Stadium in Siliguri. The stadium was packed to capacity.
North Bengal was once deprived, no one used to look at it; situation has changed, new secretariat, new districts have been formed; Trinamool Congress has not left out any effort for its development, for it loves the north as much as it loves the south; there is so much variety in region; will go to hills tomorrow to meet the people there.
Request to Trinamool’s student and youth wings: never bow your head in defeat, don’t fall prey to money, communalism, divisiveness, and never lose your identity; work for the well-being of the people.
Mamata criticized the CPM and Congress. “Now a new party, the BJP, is bringing in a lot of money to North Bengal. They promised to open the closed tea gardens, but not one has opened; its leaders have boxes but whether they are filled with notes or paper, I don’t know. We will have to assure that these boxes are not filled with votes,” she said.
Divisiveness and separatism – the BJP specialises in this. Why is the Telegu Desam in AP considering breaking away? Because the centre has deprived them in the Budget. I have full support for them. Any state that is deprived will have my support; Attempts are also being made on Bengal to do this, we are perhaps the most deprived state. But that will not be allowed.
The Centre has devised several foolhardy schemes in the Budget – bamboo mission, wealth from cowdung- they are planning to keep it in banks! And the ash from burnt cowdung cakes will be the interest!
The Trinamool’s schemes are not like that. Cereals at very subsidised rates, health and education provided free to the tribal people of North Bengal, and farmers also continue to get subsidy, which has been increased to Rs 1,000. A new Manobik pension scheme of Rs 1000 will be started for the handicapped;
Journalists above 60 will get Rs 2,500 pension, and a new Ruposhree scheme whereby low income parents will get Rs 25,000 for the wedding of their daughters. Which state will give so many benefits for its people?
Farmers tax waived; families will get various types of assistance, and they will not have to give a single paisa. A large number of scholarships have been given to students. In the last 6 years, we have given jobs to 81 lakh youths, and another 9 lakhs will get jobs this year.
The state has developed in many areas and we are number one in the country in several aspects. The girls and women of our state are our pride. On March 6 and 7, rallies will be held at all blocks. A big rally will be held on March 7, one in South Bengal and the other in North Bengal, to protest the hike in prices.
Till the board examinations begin, I want that our youth wing will hold rallies every Saturday and Sunday to protest rising fuel, gas and other prices. The panchayat elections are coming. I want the youth to in every district, block and village to battle in such a way that there is no room for crying.
BJP in north Bengal bring boxes, not development. Whether the boxes have money or paper has to be found out; they are always trying to foment trouble on divisive and communal grounds. During the trouble in next door Assam, Bengal had stood by the victims.
Trinamool Congress is a united family that moves forward together. Open student rallies in each district will be held after exams, which will continue till April. Till then no rallies, no noise; meetings will be held inside halls but not during exam hours; no district student conventions while exam are on. I want the Yuva conventions to be completed by April.
Farmers are our assets; we will have to stand by them. Jai Hind Bahini and Seva Dal must specialise on social networks. They have to increase their activities; Jago Bangla calendar was photoshopped and mistakes put in, false videos are being released. If you see such, immediately complain and get it rectified.
Trinamool has a big role in the coming days, and all of you have to be able to stand by the party and fight for development; do work that will make people proud of you. This is the way leaders are made.
We fight for anti people moves, be it aadhaar, fuel prices, inflation, deprivation; earlier the fight was against the CPM’s rule. Bengal will show the way for other states. Students and youth, you are the future, follow the right path, let everyone live as proper human beings.