Criticising the “communal agenda” of the TMC and the BJP, West Bengal CPI(M) secretary Surya Kanta Mishra Sunday stressed the need for an alternative and said the Left-Congress grand alliance will fight to provide employment and usher in industrial development in the state.

Addressing a mega rally at the Brigade Parade Ground here, Mishra accused the ruling TMC and the opposition BJP of dividing people on “communal lines” to serve their political interests, and said, West Bengal needs a government that will not be a “copycat” of those run by the TMC and the BJP.

“Both the TMC and the BJP are two sides of the same coin. Their agenda is to divide people on communal lines and rule the masses. We have seen how TMC leaders are joining the BJP lock, stock and barrel. Except for the chief minister and some of her leaders, the rest have switched over to the BJP. Both the TMC and the BJP now stand unmasked,” he said.

The state needs a government that can take up industrialisation and generate employment, the CPI(M) leader said.

“We need a government which can fill up all the vacancies in state government jobs and semi-government sectors within a year. Neither the TMC nor the BJP can do it. Only the Left and secular forces are capable of it,” he said.

Claiming that the TMC has “stifled” the democratic space in the state during its 10-year rule, Mishra said, “The upcoming assembly election is about restoring democracy, and unity among the people”.

“There will be an effort to divert attention from today”s meeting by engineering other incidents after the rally is over. But please don”t get swayed away. When there was an attack on the livelihood of the common man, then a war of words was going on between the TMC and the BJP,” the CPI(M) leader said.

“Minorities, backwards, scheduled castes and tribes are being divided on caste and communal lines practised by both the forces,” he said.

Reaching out to the people of the hills in north Bengal and Jangalmahal region in the south, Mishra said, there is a need to protect the identity of indigenous people residing in these places.

The forested areas of West Midnapore, Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia districts in the southern part of the state forms Jangalmahal.

On TMC poll slogan- “Bangla Nijer Meyekei Chaye” portraying Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as its mascot, RSP general secretary Manoj Bhattacharya said, “Bengal wants to get rid of dictatorship, and the grand alliance will fight for it.” Expressing happiness at the turnout in the rally, West Bengal Left Front chairman Biman Bose said, the grand alliance is ready to take on the BJP-TMC in the state.