A day after his meeting with former Congress president Sonia Gandhi during which the Congress decided on a joint agitation with the Left Front against the TMC and the BJP in Bengal, leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, Abdul Mannan today stepped up the criticism of the ruling party in the state and the saffron outfit. Labelling the Trinamul to be the “fifth column of BJP”, he said that the party was not faithful to ideals of secularism and democratic movement.

Both the Trinamul and the BJP seemed to have lost their voices when the demand to punish the criminals involved in chit fund scams needs to be raised, Mannan said. Mannan then drew attention to BJP’s efforts to overshadow the achievements of the Congress government and showcase as its own. Even as Prime Minister Modi and his Cabinet colleagues are shouting from the rooftops to proclaim their contribution to send a space craft to the moon, there is no mention of ISRO being set up by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In fact, ISRO is the successor of Indian National Committee of Space Research set up in 1962 by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Mannan pointed out.

Rubbishing the efforts of BJP leadership which praises the “surgical strikes” against Pakistan, he urged them to refresh their memories about the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The nation led by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi not only won the war and created Bangladesh, but a large number of prisoners of the Pakistani army were taken to India, a feat praised by BJP leader, Atal Behari Vajpayee who was then in the Opposition. There is nothing to be surprised of when Trinamul leaders remain silent during BJP’s strident announcement of its achievement, as they cannot do otherwise, he said.