Banerjee then appealed to Hooghly’s voters not to let her down this time, apologising for the mistakes one Trinamool MLA may have made. “It will be a huge loss for the Trinamool if Hooghly does not vote for us this time,” she said, reminding voters that Hooghly was one of the districts to which the party owed its birth. The Trinamool led in only 10 of the 18 assembly segments in the district in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll; it led in 17 in the 2016 assembly poll.
“I apologise to you for any mistake Tapan (Dasgupta) may have made. He will not repeat them. I have spoken to him. He was there with me right from the beginning (when the party was formed),” she said, referring to Saptagram MLA Dasgupta at her first pre-assembly poll public meeting in Chinsurah.
But the main thrust of the Bengal CM’s speech was the ISF and the BJP’s efforts to split minority votes. “Thousands come to Furfurasharif,” she said at a rally in Hooghly’s Chanditala, barely 20 km from Furfurasharif. “But now a young man has stepped out of this place. He is a very good friend of the BJP. He has now joined hands with the CPM and the Congress after having taken what he could from the BJP. He is trying to divide minority votes. And he is trying to do this with help from Hyderabad. This is how they defeated (the opposition) in Bihar. This is the same way they took money from the BJP in Uttar Pradesh to ensure (the opposition’s) defeat,” the CM said. “But Bengal’s minority vote will not be divided, else there will be disaster,” Banerjee added.