The Trinamool Congress (AITC) has postponed the release of its election manifesto for the West Bengal Elections 2021, which was scheduled for today, 14 March. It will announce the next date later, a news agency said.
This is the third time that the Trinamool Congress has deferred releasing its manifesto. Sources say there is some confusion in the party ranks over the ideological orientation of its electoral promises in face of the main challenger BJP’s Hindutva plank, which is causing the delay.
The Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led a roadshow today, days after sustaining injuries during election campaigning in Nandigram, on a wheelchair from Gandhi Murti to Hazra in Kolkata. She addressed a public rally at Hazra in the afternoon. It was her first public appearance after she was injured in Nandigram in an incident that she gave mutually contradictory statements about on two separate days.
On the day of the injury, 10 March, while eyewitnesses said it was an accidental injury wherein some careless aide of Mamata Banerjee had slammed the door of her car before she could pull her legs in, she alleged four or five miscreants had pushed her into the car and shut the door. When she initiated the blame game, AITC workers soon changed their version of the incident, now echoing their leader’s description of the happenings that day outside a temple in Nandigram. However, when no journalist corroborated the claim of an attack, on 12 March, the chief minister agreed it was an accident.
The condition of the chief minister’s health has improved considerably and she is “quite stable”, doctors of the government-run SSKM Hospital, who are treating her, had said yesterday. The swelling on her left ankle, caused due to an injury she sustained during campaigning in Nandigram, has subsided, they said.
The chief minister suffered severe injuries on her left leg as well as on the right shoulder, forearm and neck, as she fell after being allegedly pushed by four to five miscreants in Nandigram on Wednesday evening.
The chief minister has complained of an injury on her left leg and pain in the waist, shoulders and neck, according to doctors.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had released the party’s list of 291 candidates on 5 March. West Bengal will be voting in eight phases, beginning 27 March. The votes will be counted on 2 May.
On 13 March, Yashwant Sinha, former union finance minister under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and retired bureaucrat, today joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) weeks ahead of the West Bengal Assembly election where one of the planks of the party is that their fight is against the ‘bahirāgata‘, meaning “outsiders”. The 83-year-old retired IAS officer who made a political career out of clever switches from one party to another had quit the BJP in 2018 after apparently losing hope of being included in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s council of ministers. His joining the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led party is likely to be viewed as a prize catch for an outfit that has seen a steady outflow of both leaders and cadres in the past few months.