To outdo the BJP, the TMC-led government on Thursday appointed a tribal woman, with whom then BJP president Amit Shah had lunch at her house in Siliguri in 2017, as homeguard. This came hours before Shah had lunch at another tribal’s house in Bankura.
The woman, Geeta Mahali, said, “I am happy. In the last few years, the TMC has built my house and given me a gas cylinder. And today, I have been offered a job. I am feeling satisfied, this job will help me run my family smoothly.” After Shah’s visit to her house, she and her husband, Raju Mahali, had joined the TMC in the presence Tourism Minister Goutam Deb.
In the run-up to the 2021 Assembly Elections, the BJP and the TMC are jockeying to impress voters from the tribal and Matua communities.
Led by TMC district president Ranjan Sarkar, A party delegation handed over the offer letter to Mahali at Naxalbari police station. Sarkar slammed the BJP for giving “false promises” to tribals.
“The BJP had given false assurance to them (Mahali’s family) after lunch, and they never came back to help them. It is the TMC which stood with them. Even during the lockdown, none came to see how they were managing. Today, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who always looks after her people, has appointed Geeta Mahali as a homeguard to be posted at Naxalbari police station. It will help them (the family) a lot,” said Sarkar.
Local TMC leaders invited Mahali’s family and handed over her job-related documents.
The BJP, on the other hand, questioned the timing of the job offer.
“Clearly, the intention is not the development of the community. It’s been three years since our minister took lunch at Geeta Mahali’s house. I would like to ask why they offered her job when Amit Shah is in Bengal again. They are doing selective politics; otherwise, why only Geeta Mahali has been given so much importance by the TMC. It is sad that If the TMC offers jobs, then our ministers will take lunch at everyone’s house so that more people can get employment… I have been hearing that the government cheques given to Puja organisers bounced. I hope that the job letter doesn’t bounce,” BJP District President Praveen Agarwal told The Indian Express. He attacked the TMC government for alleged diversion of funds for Amphan relief.
In April 2017, Shah had kicked off his three-day West Bengal visit with lunch at the Mahalis in Naxalbari. “I have addressed many rallies across the country, but nothing is more satisfying than today’s meeting in this tiny village in Bengal,” Shah had said.
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