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Mamata Banerjee Asserts Bengal as Safest State for Women

PM Modi's 'Nari Shakti Abhinandan' Program Countered by Mamata's 'Nari Diwas' Rally

Piyush Gautam, EW Correspondent: In a spirited display of women’s empowerment, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led a rally in Kolkata, themed Mahila Der Adhikaar, Aamader Angikaar” (women’s rights are our commitment), on the eve of International Women’s Day. Addressing the crowd, she boldly declared that Bengal is the safest state for women.

This powerful assertion came in response to recent criticism from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP. The ruling Trinamool Congress has been under scrutiny following the Sandeshkhali unrest, where women accused (now suspended) TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh and his associates of land grab and sexual assault. Mamata Banerjee countered these allegations, emphasizing that women in Bengal openly voice their concerns and that her administration takes swift action against any atrocities.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi conducted the “Nari Shakti Abhinandan” program in Barasat, West Bengal, celebrating women’s strength and resilience. During this event, he highlighted the recently passed Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, which seeks to reserve 33% of seats in Lok Sabha and state Assemblies for women. PM Modi’s visit aimed to fortify women’s representation in Indian legislatures and acknowledge their pivotal role in society.

The BJP has been trying to highlight this issue and gain the support of women voters in the state, while the TMC has been denying the allegations and claiming that Bengal is the safest state for women. The BJP Mahila Morcha, the women’s wing of the party, has been protesting against the TMC government and demanding justice for the victims. However, they have faced resistance from the police and the administration, who have arrested them, prevented them from entering Sandeshkhali, and blocked them from attending PM Modi’s rally. Some of the victims, however, managed to reach the rally and narrated their ordeal to the PM, who expressed his sympathy and anger at the TMC. The PM also said that the women’s rage will not be confined to Sandeshkhali and will sweep through Bengal in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Bengal is a state known for its festivals that celebrate women’s power, with Durga being worshipped as a symbol of strength. However, it is disheartening to see that Bengali women are often subjected to tyranny by political goons, which even the left regime failed to address. The BJP’s attacks on the ruling party in the state may bring about some change, as the state has a strong management system that has been able to handle various situations, including scandals like Sarada and Narada, where depositors suffered greatly but no punishment was given. The TMC leaders have been arrested, including Members of Parliament like Sudip Bandhopadhyay, but they were not punished. The saffron camp understands these dynamics and is determined to not let the matter be resolved by the ruling party alone. In conclusion, the situation in Bengal highlights the need for justice and accountability, and all political parties must work towards empowering women and upholding the principles of equality and fairness.

As the political landscape heats up, both parties vie for dominance, using women-centric programs as their battleground. While Mamata Banerjee champions Bengal’s safety for women, PM Modi’s focus remains on empowering women through legislative reforms. The clash of agendas continues, leaving Bengal’s political arena charged with fervour and anticipation.

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