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TMC MP's comments on party slogan stokes controversy

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Kolkata, Aug 13: TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee on Saturday courted controversy with his comments that the party made a mistake by following its motto of 'badla noy badal chai’ (we don’t seek revenge, we are for change) in Bengal, as the opposition “does not believe in such courtesy”.

TMC MPs comments on party slogan stokes controversy

Banerjee said he was upset over the developments involving central agencies and senior party leaders in the recent past, and asserted that the Trinamool Congress should, instead, have acted on the slogan 'badal chai, badla chai’ (we seek retaliation whenever needed, and we are also for change) when it came to power in 2011.

"Our leader (CM) Mamata Banerjee is a large-hearted personality… But the opposition parties - BJP, Congress, CPI(M) - do not seem to believe in such courtesy. “The way they have ganged up against us and hatched a vicious conspiracy, it is now clear our slogan could have been 'apart from ushering in change, there has to be retaliation if required’" the TMC MP from in Serampore said at a party meeting.

Speaking in a similar tone, Chunchura MLA Asit Majumder, who was also present at the meeting, said: “If anyone calls us 'chor’ (thieves), there will be retaliation. None will get away insulting Mamata Banerjee and the TMC."

The two were seen speaking in a video clip, but PTI could not independently verify the authenticity of the footage. Meanwhile, senior TMC leader and West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim told reporters that the party does not approve such statements, and believes if anyone is proved guilty, that person should be punished.

Hakim, however, added that a section of the media has begun to “malign and vilify senior leaders of the party just because two of its leaders have been arrested by central agencies”. “It is like setting up a kangaroo court where the verdict is already delivered before the charges can be proved. We are not afraid of being summoned as we know that the truth is on our side,” Hakim said.

Two senior TMC leaders – Partha Chatterjee and Anubrata Mondal – have been arrested by the ED and CBI, respectively, in connection with alleged scams in the state. Reacting to the comments made by Kalyan Banerjee, BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh said TMC leaders know that “their time is up”. "No such bragging can save the party from its doom in the coming days,” Ghosh asserted.

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