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TMC slams Adhir over 'better to vote for BJP' remark

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
May 01, 2024 21:54 IST
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The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday accused Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of being the "B-team" of the Bharatiya Janata Party after a purported video, where he allegedly stated that voting for the BJP is better than voting for the TMC, went viral, prompting a denial from the Congress, claiming the video was "doctored".

IMAGE: Congress candidate from Baharampur, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury addresses an election rally ahead of the third phase of the Lok Sabha Polls, in Murshidabad. Photograph: ANI Photo

An eight-second video clip of Chowdhury's speech during an election rally in West Bengal's Murshidabad was shared by the TMC, where the sitting Congress MP and candidate from West Bengal's Baharampur was seen saying "It's better to vote for the BJP than to vote for the TMC."

However, the authenticity of the clip could not be verified.

Responding to the clip, the West Bengal Congress unit termed it as doctored and officially complained to the EC, seeking intervention and appropriate penal action.

Commenting on the purported remarks, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the goal of his party is to bring down the numbers of the BJP in West Bengal and that the TMC is part of the INDIA bloc.

Earlier in the day, the TMC, upset with Chowdhury's continual criticism and holding him responsible for the breakdown of seat-sharing discussions with Congress in the state, labelled him as "anti-Bengal."

In a post on X, the TMC said after acting as the "eyes and ears of BJP in Bengal," Chowdhury has now been promoted to be the "voice of the BJP in Bengal."


"Listen to how the B-Team member is openly asking people to vote for the BJP - a party that refused to release Bengal's rightful dues and deprived our people of their rights. Only a Bangla-Birodhi can campaign for the BJP, which has repeatedly insulted Bengal's icons," the TMC said.

"On May 13, people of Baharampur will give a befitting response to this betrayal!" it added.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Saket Gokhale also attacked the Congress leader over the remarks.

"Finally from the B-team horse's mouth! Congress Bengal chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury publicly asks people in his rally to vote for the BJP and not the TMC. While Mamata Banerjee fights against the full might of Modi+Central Agencies machinery, Bengal Congress is openly asking votes for the BJP," he said in a post on X.

"In Bengal, TMC is INDIA taking on BJP. Meanwhile, Congress and CPM have chosen to become Modi's loyal soldiers. This is disgusting and beyond shameless," he said.

Later in the evening, the West Bengal Congress unit issued a denial and said the state president meant "TMC and BJP are just the opposite sides of the same coin as both are venomous and spread lies".

"A doctored video has surfaced on Social Media, perhaps either by the TMC or BJP IT Cell (both are notorious in the way they perform), wherein it's being shown as if the @INCWestBengal President @adhirrcinc is asking the voters in a public meeting to vote for BJP instead, spreading wrong perception and misinformation among the voters and listeners," the West Bengal Congress posted on X.

Condemning the TMC for spreading fake videos, the Bengal Congress unit said a section of the media has spread misinformation without any verification and urged the masses to listen to the full speech.

"Sri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had very clearly and proudly announced and urged electors to vote for Mortuza Hossain (Bokul) and not for any TMC and BJP. What he said is - You can trust and cast your vote in favour of Bokul who will be with you throughout all the seasons. What he meant to say is TMC and BJP are just the opposite sides of the same coin, both are venomous and spread lies. Don't at all vote for them," it said.

The party said it has lodged an official complaint to EC regarding this manufactured video sought their intervention and asked them to take appropriate penal action.

"We also are seeking help from professionals to help us find out the source (the IP address) so that we can lodge a police complaint also, through our legal cell. However, for the time being, we strongly condemn this culture of spreading lies and misinformation like this (which has been a trademark of the BJP IT Cell, now seems the other party has also started playing this dirty trick), that too when the election is going on, with an obvious ulterior motive, to malign our leader(s)," it said.

Ramesh, meanwhile, said the only goal of the Congress was to bring down the numbers of the BJP in West Bengal.

"I do not know the context of what Adhir ji said, but we aim to reduce the numbers of BJP in West Bengal significantly," Ramesh said.

"They won 18 out of 42 seats, we have to reduce their numbers and that is the only goal. This is not an assembly election, this is a Lok Sabha election. Congress, along with Left parties, is part of the INDIA bloc, TMC leader Mamata Banerjee has also said they are part of the INDIA bloc, though we are not in a seat-sharing arrangement," he said.

A triangular contest between the TMC, Congress-Left alliance, and the BJP is being witnessed in West Bengal, where the TMC has 22 out of 42 seats in Lok Sabha, BJP 17, and Congress has two MPs.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.