The Goa unit of the BJP has denied erecting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ hoardings ahead of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s three day visit to the state, which began on Thursday.
This comes a day after several hoardings carrying pictures of the Trinamool Congress president were defaced in the state ahead of her visit
A fresh war of words erupted between the BJP and the TMC, after the saffron party on Sunday claimed the Goa unit of the Trinamool had posted a cartoon on Twitter showing Banerjee trampling Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant under her foot.
A statement from Sawant’s office claimed the tweet was deleted immediately.
Later a number of posters and hoardings carrying pictures of Banerjee were vandalised.
TMC Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien said condemned the acts of vandalism. “The only woman chief minister [in the country] has been insulted. We all know this is not the culture of Goa,” he said.
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Referring to the 10-point charge sheet released by the TMC against the Goa government, Derek said that if the BJP wants to fight his party, then it should do so politically. “Why don’t you respond to the charge sheet placed before the public,” he said.
After the TMC’s spectacular victory in West Bengal earlier this year, the party has now decided to jump into the electoral battle in Goa and contest the 2022 assembly polls. The party has named its campaign ‘Goenchi Navi Sakal’ (Goa’s New Dawn), and has pressed in leaders like O’Brien, Babul Supriyo and Sougata Roy to strengthen the organisation.
Goa is part of the TMC’s overall pan-India plan. The party has identified states where it wants to gain footprints. Apart from Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and Uttar Pradesh, it has also earmarked Goa to make inroads. Except UP, the TMC’s focus is on smaller states where the party does not have to work very hard to prepare its organisation.