In conversation with

Chandrima Bhattacharya
State President, Mahila Trinamool Congress, Hon’ble Minister of State, Dept of Health and Family Welfare, Hon’ble Minister of State, Judicial

The members of the AITMC Web Team had a talk with Mrs. Chandrima Bhattacharya, State President, Mahila Trinamool Congress, Hon’ble Minister of State, Dept of Health and Family Welfare, Hon’ble Minister of State, Judicial.

As the president of Mahila Trinamool Congress, are you taking any special initiatives to increase the mass outreach of the party?

The main focus in reaching out to people is taking the message of the government to the common man. The various developmental works that are done by the government led by Mamata Banerjee have to be communicated to people. From leaflet distribution to organising rallies or street corner meetings, we generally take up various programmes to make our point to people. Apart from being associated with the main party`s programmes, the women`s wing also organises many activities on its own.

How do you plan to counter the various claims made by different media houses and certain sections of society regarding the lack of safety of women in the state?

We do not need to counter anyone. It is a fact that women`s safety had reached a nadir during the 34 year long Left rule; the fact is validated by the huge support from women that led to the change of regime (Poriborton) in 2011. Women voted in large numbers and helped in the victory of Trinamool Congress. It is because of the active participation of women that a regime change took place.

Mamata Banerjee-led government has the full support of the women in West Bengal. Women have got their right to protest under the current regime. They could even lodge complaints during the Left era. But things have changed now. No complaints could be lodged against CPM cadre during the 34 year long rule. Women lived in fear, but now the situation is changed. More number of cases are being registered now compared to the past. Cases are solved on a fast-track basis.

There are so many glaring examples of crimes against women in the past – Bantala, Dhantala, Sutia, Ghokshadanga, Debra, Basanti, from Felani Basak to Anita Dewan there are so many cases of how state failed the tortured women in the past. Now women have got their voice of protest back.

Apart from heading the women`s wing of the party, you are also the Minister of State for Health. How has been your experience for the last two and a half years?

The state did not have any infrastructure for the last 34 years in health sector. We are working hard because we have to do everything from scratch, and this is not just the case with my department; the same goes for all ministries. Our Chief Minister herself is a role model in this regard; she is hardworking and workaholic; this is worth emulating.

Health ministry is a very delicate department – health service is not something that people can go asking for with a begging bowl. It is a right that had been denied to people for three decades. Under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee many revolutionary initiatives have been taken on behalf of the Health Department. A transformational change has occurred in the sector.

Do you have any message for the party members?

Our cadre are very disciplined and organised. Had we not been a disciplined party, we would have not been able to take on the Left and usher in Poriborton. Our workers have been very patient and committed. Unlike the communists, we do not run a party-cracy. The party does not interfere in the activities of the government. The dedication of our workers in enviable; I daresay, it`s unmatched in other parties too. We have to stand together and unitedly carry on our fight. We need to carry on our duties for the party with full dedication, no matter which post we are in. Only if we perform our duties towards the party, our party will become stronger. We have to follow the directions of our Chairperson with devotion.

How are you preparing for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, which are just months away?

Trinamool will get a thumping mandate from the people in the Lok Sabha elections. We will have a sizeable presence in the House and Mamata Banerjee will play a key role in next government formation.