The ruling-Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has launched a new campaign which the party said will focus on connecting with people across the state and identifying the right set of public representatives through a “first-of-its-kind democratic and decentralized process, which considers the opinion of the people of West Bengal”.
With panchayat polls due in West Bengal soon, Trinamool Congress National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee is hitting the road with a 60-day state-wide march called ‘Jono Sanjog Yatra’ from Cooch Behar in north Bengal to Kakdwip in south Bengal beginning on April 25.
The party wants to reach out to voters at the grassroots when it comes to selecting candidates for the panchayat elections and ‘clean up the system’.
When Trinamool Congress National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee was asked why the need for a clean-up when the Trinamool Congress has been in power for over a decade, he said, “If someone says there is no dirt and no corruption anywhere, they are lying. Only if I identify an issue, I can address it. If you think I am engaging in a clean-up you are free to write about it. I am thinking of my state’s interests. I believe if this happens no one will be able to compete with Bengal for the next fifty years.”
This exercise will also be undertaken using an online referendum platform -www.tnjofficial.com – through which people will be encouraged to recommend their preferred candidates for the posts of Gram Panchayat members, Panchayat Samiti members, and Zilla Parishad members beginning April 25.
Addressing a press conference at Trinamool Bhavan on Thursday, Abhishek Banerjee said, “The goal of this campaign is to constitute a people’s panchayat … With the launch of this campaign on April 25, we are going a step further and taking people’s opinions into account while selecting the candidates.”
In a day of the yatra, the AITC National General Secretary will traverse through a cluster of Panchayats, holding three to four public meetings, and conducting a district-level TMC Party Adhiveshan. The day will culminate with a community dinner and overnight stay at the Adhiveshan camp.
However, Mr Banerjee explained, “This is not a padayatra in Bengal. It’s not like a Bharat Jodo Yatra. A padayatra in Bengal will take two years. This is a public participation yatra.”