Women must lead the protests against Centre: Mamata Banerjee
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, a historic women’s rally was organised by Trinamool in Kolkata near the Gandhi statue on Mayo Road.
Women from all walks of life participated in the rally.
The main speaker at the event was Mamata Banerjee. In her 30-minute odd speech, she called upon women in Bengal to unite in protest against the misrule by BJP at Centre. She also asked them to prepare for the upcoming Panchayat polls.
Highlights of her speech:
- We must work together, for people from all walks of life. Our sisters, as well as brothers, are society’s assets.
- We celebrate March 8 as International Women’s Day. This day is dedicated to our mothers and sisters.
- We reserved 50% seats in Panchayats for women after coming to power.
- Trinamool is the only party to have 34% female MPs, even without Women’s Reservation Bill.
- We provide 730 days of child care leave.
- 48% women are employed under 100 Days’ Work. 48% female candidates got a chance under College Service Commission.
- ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Bachao’ programme by the Centre is actually ‘Beti Hatao’. The budget is 100 crore, which comes to Rs 3 crore per State. We spent Rs 6,000 crore for Bengal’s Kanyashree scheme.
- 45 lakh girls have received Kanyashree scholarship. We have extended the scheme to university students also (Rs 2,000 for humanities, Rs 2,500 crore for science). Make this a national model.
- We have also started a new scheme called ‘Ruposhree’. Poor families with income upto Rs 1.5 lakh receive Rs 25,000 for the wedding of their daughters (18 years and older). This scheme will be launched from April 1.
- When we came to power, rate of institutional delivery was 65%. Now the rate has gone up to 95%.
- We have started transit hubs for pregnant women at remote areas.
- Infant mortality rate has come down in Bengal in the last six years.
- In six years, we have set up 300 SNSUs, 75 SNCUs, 17 Mother and Child Hubs. ICCUs, HDUs, multi super speciality hospitals have also been set up.
- We provide rice at Rs 2/kg to 8 crore people. We provide the subsidy for this scheme.
- We carry out developmental programmes with the revenue we collect from taxes. We have not imposed any burden on the people. We are paying instalments for the debt incurred by the Left. We are working for the people despite our financial burden.
- We have distributed 70 lakh cycles under Sabuj Sathi scheme. We have given scholarships to minorities as well as SC/ST students.
- We work for all, irrespective of their background. We do not practice divisive politics.
- The language used by a person is their identity. The kind of language some politicians use is shameful. This is not the culture of Bengal. We believe in civilized culture.
- Indecent language can get you two minutes of fame on TV. But people will reject you. Politicians must choose the words they use carefully.
- An incident took place. BJP set the precedent in Tripura by vandalising Lenin’s statue. Even in Tamil Nadu, the statue of a Dalit leader was vandalised. We strongly condemn these incidents.
- SP Mukherjee was born in Bengal. We do not believe in his ideology but we respect him. Those who put black paint on his statue are a shame for Bengal.
- This culture of bulldozing statues of icons of another ideology is dangerous. Do not even try to defame Bengal.
- We have to fight for the labourers, farmers, peasants and people of all sections of the society.
- Bengal is No. 1 in creating rural employment, agriculture, ease of doing business, small scale industries.
- Bengal was known for Bandhs earlier. The perception has changed.
- Kanyashree, uninterrupted power supply, rural jobs, new roads, better hospitals – this is poriborton.
- BJP won in Tripura by a margin of 0.3% only. They played divisive politics. They promised separate state in Darjeeling and applied the same formula in Tripura. They have won. Fine, but don’t overestimate yourself. Your target is Bengal. Our target is Lal Quila.
- Their alliance partners – TDP and Shiv Sena – have walked out of alliance. The writing is clear on the wall. They will lose in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh. Do not even dream of winning in Odisha and Bengal.
- In Tripura, BJP spent money like water flowing through a hosepipe. The CPI(M) surrendered itself to the BJP. They did not put up any fight.
- Centre is using agencies against those who speak against them.
- All regional parties have to work together. We have to put up a fight together.
- Women have to take a lead in the protests against the Centre. If you want to save the country and the society, remove BJP from power. Hindu-Muslim divisions will not bear any fruits.
- People’s savings are not safe in banks. ‘Gobar’ (cow dung) has become ‘dhan’ (asset) for this government.
- Mohila ra dichhe daak, BJP chole jaak. Du hajar unish, BJP hobe finish. Put an end to their arrogance.
- A section of media is sold out to the BJP. There is an atmosphere of fear among journalists.
- Bengal has always led the way whenever social/political movements started in India.
- Self-confidence is the biggest strength of a person. Women will lead this fight – they manage homes, as well as outside.