Mamata Banerjee sticks to tradition, launches Lok Sabha election campaign in Kolkata on Women's Day

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced that she will lead a padyatra (rally) in Kolkata on the occasion of International Women’s Day on Friday.

FP Staff March 08, 2019 12:35:26 IST
Mamata Banerjee sticks to tradition, launches Lok Sabha election campaign in Kolkata on Women's Day
  • Mamata Banerjee announced that she will lead a padyatra (rally) in Kolkata on the occasion of International Women’s Day on Friday

  • The chief minister tweeted that the rally will start at Shraddhananda Park and conclude at Esplanade at 12 noon on Friday

  • Describing women as the backbone of Indian society, Banerjee congratulated women across the world on this day.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced that she will lead a padyatra (rally) in Kolkata on the occasion of International Women’s Day on Friday. The rally started at Shraddhananda Park at 12 noon on Friday and it will conclude at near Esplanade.

The purpose of this rally is to create a "new India, united India and strong India", the posters of the rally read. She also expressed pride in the Trinamool Congress (TMC) for having 35 percent women MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha even as the Women's Reservation Bill was yet to be passed in Parliament.

"While the Women’s Reservation Bill has not yet been passed in Parliament, I am proud that our party All India Trinamool Congress has 35 percent women MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha. We have also reserved 50 percent seats in local bodies for women candidates," she tweeted on the occasion of Women's Day.

Describing women as the "backbone" of Indian society, Banerjee congratulated women across the world on this day. Emphasising that her government is committed to the empowerment of women, the chief minister said the state government has recently launched 'Swasthya Sathi' health insurance smart cards for them.

"We have decided to issue these cards to a woman member of the family, recognising her as the head of the family. #IWD2019," Banerjee tweeted. Mamata was also expected to launch the TMC's campaign for the Lok Sabha polls on Friday, in keeping with the occasion, PTI reported.

Incidentally, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief had also commenced her party's campaign for the 2014 parliamentary and 2016 assembly elections on the same date.

"Although election dates are yet to be announced, but the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections will begin on 8 March. During the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and 2016 Assembly polls also, Mamata di had started her poll campaign on Women's Day," a senior leader of the TMC's women's wing had said.

"She (Banerjee) will give her message for the Lok Sabha polls. And after the dates are announced, a full-fledged campaign will begin," the report quoted the party leader as saying. Several rallies and marches are also expected to be held in various parts of the state to celebrate the day and kick off the poll campaign in the state, TMC sources said.

Banerjee, who has been the prime mover of an anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) front, had organised a mega Opposition rally here on 19 January, during which she had given a call to oust the Modi government.

The TMC, which is vying to play a major role in the formation of the next government at the Centre, has vowed to win all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The party had won 34 seats in the 2014 general election. However, the BJP state leadership mocked TMC's decision to kick start its poll campaign on International Women's day.

"It's an irony that TMC is kick starting its poll campaign from March 8 when Bengal under TMC regime in last seven years has seen steep rise in atrocities against women," BJP state president Dilip Ghosh. Meanwhile, the saffron party's women wing too has scheduled several rallies in the state to mark the occasion.

With inputs from agencies

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