In the upcoming Assembly elections of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee is facing a rival she doesn’t know how to tackle. Being the poster child for corruption, violence and anarchy, she is now competing with a party which is campaigning on the principles of good governance, inclusive development and cultural revival of the state. Adding to Mamata’s despair is the growing angst amongst the people of Bengal. Frustrated with the lack of opportunities and lawlessness in the state, the people have now resorted to fighting against the machinery.
The latest such instance has been the labour protest in Netaji Indoor Stadium. Two Bengal ministers, Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim and Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak, had called workers of “self-employed labour organisation” to a meeting to listen to their demands. In the meeting, the contractual labourers demonstrated in front of him, threw chairs and tore off posters of the senior leaders. According to the labourers, the issues raised by them were not addressed.
WATCH: Ruckus erupted at a govt programme for Self employed Labour Organisation (SLO) members today at #Kolkata. Slogans raised, chairs hurled, banners vandalised in the presence of 2 #WestBengal Ministers at the event. SLOs demanded the release of their pending salaries. pic.twitter.com/A0lJwGMXPA
— Sreyashi Dey (@SreyashiDey) December 28, 2020
This incident clearly shows the people’s growing dissatisfaction against the TMC government of Bengal. Admitting that the protestors had a due cause, Ghatak said, “We had nothing to announce today. We know that these labourers are not getting their commission for the last six months. We are looking into their demands but such protest was totally uncalled for.”
For the Labour Minister to belligerently admit that labourers in his states are not getting their commission for six whole months, is quite shameful. The labourers often live hand to mouth, with very little savings. To not pay them for their work is utterly disgraceful on the part of the state. The protest was simply because the labourers were demanding the release of their pending salaries. This is neither unjust nor something out of the blue but, just what is reasonably expected.
What is surprising is that these incidents in West Bengal are unheard of. The only instances of violence one hears are connected to the state machinery. Anti-government rallies, on the other hand, are unheard of, and this has now started happening under Mamata Banerjee’s governance.
The TMC Supremo has certainly given people cause for this. Only a few days ago, TMC MLA, Jitendra Tiwari had claimed that Mamata Banerjee is blocking development in the state. Tiwari stated that ₹2000 crores allotted to Asansol by the centre under the Smart City Project were stopped due to political reasons.
Now, the people have come out to protest for their rightful salaries. The people’s growing angst only shows how Mamata Banerjee’s reign of terror is coming to an end. Since the public is now seeing brighter prospects for BJP, this incident will surely have repercussions in the upcoming Bengal Assembly Elections for TMC.