Kolkata, Jan 24 (PTI) TMC leaders on Tuesday continued to face protests in various parts of the state as they conducted the newly launched mass outreach campaign, 'Didir Suraksha Kawach' (Didi's Protective Shield) to check and ensure that people get benefits from the pro-people projects of the state government.
Trinamool Congress MLA Ashis Banerjee faced protests on Tuesday as he visited a village in Birbhum district as part of the ruling party's programme' Didir Doot' (Mamata Banerjee's messenger) to connect with the people before this year's panchayat elections in West Bengal.
The Rampurhat MLA was confronted by some people claiming to be residents of the Mohammad Bazar area.
Claiming that he was not seen for a long time, the villagers in the Mohammad Bazar area called him a "comet", a celestial object seen after long intervals of years.
In some villages in Malda district, posters were put up written "No entry" as TMC leaders tried to enter the villages to conduct the programme.
Earlier this week, TMC MP from Birbhum Shatabdi Roy faced protests in the district while conducting the outreach campaign, whereas the party's Barasat MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar had to face the wrath of common people while visiting the area.
Months ahead of the crucial panchayat polls, the Trinamool Congress launched its new mass outreach campaign, 'Didir Suraksha Kawach' (Didi's Protective Shield), to check and ensure that people get benefits from the pro-people projects of the state government.
But for the last few days, senior TMC leaders, including ministers and MPs, have been facing protests as they tried to reach out to the masses.
The ruling TMC, however, tried to play down the protests by saying the mass outreach programme has been organized to ensure "common people can vent out their anger." "We are visiting the villages to know the problems people are facing. A lot of developmental works have taken place, if there are any gaps or lacunes, they will be fixed," senior TMC leader Kunal Ghosh said.
The opposition BJP, however, claimed that the people are speaking out the truth against the "rampant corruption" by the TMC leaders.
"The common people are speaking out the truth. It is snowballing into a mass movement," BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh said.
The first phase of the campaign — 'Anchale Ek Din/Nagare Ek Din' (One day in the area) — started this month, where state-level party leadership will spend a day each at all gram panchayats and urban local bodies across the state.
The campaign's next phase involves over 3.5 lakh booth workers or 'Didir Doots' (Messengers of Didi), who will take 'Didir Suraksha Kawach' to nearly two crore households across the state.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee herself announced on January 2 the launch of the campaign. The campaign has been designed to cover six core sectors essential for the care and sustenance of human life and ensure that all the state residents can avail of benefits from the listed 15 welfare schemes launched by the state government in the last few years.
Panchayat polls are due in April-May this year. PTI AMR PNT RG