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January 27, 2019

“Slow and steady growth. We do not wish to build a house of cards in different States, but want to build a solid foundation.”: Derek O’Brien at Odisha Pradesh Trinamool press conference in Bhubaneswar today

“Slow and steady growth. We do not wish to build a house of cards in different States, but want to build a solid foundation.”: Derek O’Brien at Odisha Pradesh Trinamool press conference in Bhubaneswar today

On behalf of All India Trinamool Congress, I welcome all of you. This is my first time at the new party office. Trinamool Congress is a National Party. We have 34 MPs in the Lok Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha 13 MPs. We have taken a decision to fight elections in 14 states. We have been the chief opposition party in Manipur. We had MLAs in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

On 19 January every anti-BJP political party came to Brigade. Around 30-35 lakh people gathered there. Around 24 different party members came there. Samajwadi party’s Akhilesh Yadav, Satish Mishra, from south H D Kumaraswamy, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, N Chandrababu Naidu, M K Stalin. Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha, Arun Shourie, Farooq Abdullah, Sharad Pawar, Arvind Kejriwal, Tejaswi Yadav, Omar Abdullah, former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Gegong Apang, Jignesh Mevani, Hardik Patel. All were present there. In that meeting it was decided that there will be a small committee, who will go to the Election Commission.

We, Trinamool Congress, do not do things in a hurry. Trinamool Congress means grassroots. We will put up candidates for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. When and where we will do that, this decision will be taken by the Trinamool Congress working committee. The current situation of the country is dangerous. There is only big talk and nothing is happening. You know the numbers regarding unemployment.

On 8th November 2016 at 8 o’clock and 9.30 PM not a single political party had said anything about demonetisation. Only Mamata Banerjee said ‘this is a draconian measure, withdraw this,this will destroy our country’. Only Trinamool Congress went to the President of India, nobody came with us. Now every political party, all economists, are saying ‘demonetisation was a dangerous thing’.

Bengal and Odisha have a healthy relationship. Since its inception, in the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme the government has spent 700 crores for 29 states. 4 crores per year per state. There is no number of the beneficiaries under this scheme. In Bengal, we have spent 5500 crores for Kanyashree scheme and around 60 lakh girl children have benefitted.

In 2014 BJP Government said in their manifesto that they will double farmer’s income. Now they are saying they will double farmer’s income in 2022. In 2011 we had promised that we will double farmer’s income. But after 7 years we have trebled their income. Previously it was 90000 and now it is 3 lakh per farmer family. For medicines we are giving 30-40% discount and we are giving free treatment also. Because of good governance, Trinamool Congress has won 211 seats in 2016. Now the ordinary people and every political party is saying ‘2019 BJP Finish’.

We are not an NGO. We are a political party. We will not divulge that in this press conference. Our aim is ‘2019 BJP Finish’. We have sent BJD the invitation for Brigade in September 2018. We respect BJD’s policy. We will contest elections in 14 states.

But now it is time for all the forces to save our Constitution, we need to save our Parliament , our institutions like CBI, RBI, whole government system, we need to save media. Media is afraid, not the journalists, we are talking about media owners, we are talking about industrialists, they frighten everyone, you can see it for yourself. Political vendetta- One day they had sent CBI to brother Akhilesh, one day to sister Mayawati, one day they will do this-that, they keep on doing poltical vendetta.

My request to all the parties when you take the BJP on, take them on strong, take the BJP and Mr Amit Shah and Mr Modi. When i say BJP, take them as Mr modi and Amit Shah’s BJP because there is another BJP within the BJP. So my request is, my urge is, do it the Trinamool way. If you take on the BJP, Amit Shah and Narendra Modi’s BJP, take them on strongly, take them on state and take them on Centre. Don’t let go.

When political parties start discussing speculative pre-election manifestos in press conferences then I’m afraid you will get into trouble. Then you will make announcements of Bharat Ratna, also speculations you will have bad news.

Trinamool doesn’t make speculations. Trinamool believes in thinking it out. When it came to GST, we supported GST, Mamata Di oposed implementation of GST. When Demonetisation happened, you please check the records, the first leader who opposed from day one, no party walked with us from first day, only National Conference came from Kashmir. Omar Abdullah ji walked with Mamata Di and all of us MP’s. Shiv Sena also walked with us on that issue, slowly all the parties came together.

The type of politics Mamata Di does is consistent politics and not T-shirt politics like one day you wear blue T-shirt, tomorrow change the shirt and wear another shirt, wear a Baniyan – these don’t happen in Mamata Di’s politics. We have no hurry in Odisha but we are doing the organisation together. Already, will not tell you the name, but atleast two famous people from Odisha have approached us to join the Trinamool but we have told them hold on we will make some good progress and then we will call another press conference and get them to join. It’s not about famous people only, we want people from civil society, doctors, lawyers. And I want to say two things to odisha –

1. You look at Bengal, see what development has been done. Talk less, work more – this happened in Bengal.

2. Look at the peace and harmony in Bengal and how the progress has been made across so many platforms.

23 universities, 50 colleges, I told you what happened in healthcare. there is one scheme named ‘RUPOSHREE’- State government will give

25 thousand rupees to every girl during their marriage.
On 6th, 7th, and 8th February, Global Businees Summit is going to be held.

Wherever we go this question comes whether Mamata di will become PM. Let me tell you, our party stands are very clear.

1. 2019 BJP Finish

2.Modi hatao, Desh Bachao

That’s our target. The target we have is a clear target

Trinamool is like a squirrel who will do every small work, we don’t want anything from behind. Mamata Di is doing politics for 45 years, doing social work, she is a three times Union Cabinet minister, two time Chief Minister and MLA and she has such a great track record as you know. So many people, so many movements. One lady whose father was a simple man and mother was no one, simple. She came out of the Congress party by herself. Biju Janta Dal started in 1997 and they had family history. Mamata Di didn’t have this kind of history.

On 1998, 1st January, our Party was established. From 1947 till today, seventy years tell me one name who left congress and did successful politics. There’s no one. Now there is Sharad Pawar but he is in alliance with Congress. Sangma ji was in North-East, that didn’t happen. Chidambaram Ji left and then rejoined Congress Pranab Ji once left and this happens in politics.

But one lady today, she runs her own government with no support ,has one support, one alliance ,i.e, peoples support, grassroot support.
Today one will go, tomorrow one will go but look here, the credibility she has, credibility means delivery that is important.

I’m not here to make a political analysis of how they function in Congress, all i can tell you is that i have been in Parliament for 8-9 years but in the last 4.5 years i have not seen BJD vote on one bill against the BJP. I’m only stating a fact, i’m not making a political commentary but let us leave that aside. Let us look at the broader picture. The broader picture is the Constitution of our country is in danger. The parliamentary resolutions are in danger

Our view is very clear. We will fight for the right of Indian Citizens and we will not allow the BJP RSS to make this into a……let me give you an example, JUDGE. Whenyou are judging a government what are the parameters?

J- Jobs,what have you done for jobs?

U- you said underperformance.

D- Demonetisation (Notebandi)


E-You see the condition of economy. So this is it, talk to us on this, don’t distract, all these are distractions.

Young people in India are watching. you must also remember this at the height of the so called promises made in 2014, BJP only got 31 percent of the votes.

One thing is certain, there are two alliances obviously- the NDA and ours what happened in 19th January, they will get 150-160 seats, it is our estimate.

Don’t worry about who will be the Prime Minister, there is a lot of matured leadership there. And when there is mature leadership with so much experience the goal is the same- UNITED INDIA.

We are expecting the elections to be announced in weeks so before that we will come back here and we will make certain announcements. What I said, Trinamool style is that we do not build parties like how you build with pack of cards. Ours is a solid foundation, slow and steady.