Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sat overnight in front of Dalit icon Dr B R Ambedkar’s statue on Red Road in the heart of the metropolis, surrounded by a cohort of TMC leaders and workers under television camera arclights, PTI reported.
Banerjee, who is staging a two-day sit-in to protest alleged discrimination by the government of India against the state, had Wednesday in a change of stance urged all political parties in the country to unitedly fight the BJP in next year’s Lok Sabha election.
This is a departure from an earlier decision to remain equidistant from both the Congress and the right-wing party ruling India’s federal polity.
The Trinamool Congress supremo was accompanied by several party leaders, including Firhad Hakim and Aroop Biswas at the protest site.
Banerjee’s 30-hour demonstration is likely to end around 7 pm on Thursday. Security measures in and around the venue were tightened keeping in mind the presence of high-profile leaders, a senior officer of Kolkata Police told PTI.
Banerjee started the sit-in on Wednesday noon, protesting against the GoI’s “stoppage” of funds to the state for MGNREGA and other schemes of the housing and public works departments.
Stating that the 2024 Parliamentary polls will be a fight between the citizens of the country and the BJP, Banerjee had Wednesday asserted that people across religions must unite to defeat the saffron party and save the poor of the country.