A political slugfest has broken out in West Bengal between the ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition BJP over Jharkhand’s Massanjore dam. The move comes after the Mamata Banerjee government tried to paint the 1950s structure in shades of blue and white, the favourite shades of the Trinamool Congress supremo. The dam, situated in Jharkhand’s Dumka district, is maintained by the West Bengal government.
The saffron party has accused Mamata Banerjee of playing “petty politics” by painting the structure in blue and white. Responding to BJP’s allegations, Trinamool Congress claimed that there was nothing political in painting the dam with these colours as the structure was maintained by West Bengal’s irrigation department.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Trinamool Congress leader and Birbhum’s district president Anubrata Mondal said, “Not only West Bengal BJP leaders but also those from Jharkhand have begun fearing Mamata Banerjee…They (BJP) should know that blue-and-white is not TMC colour (scheme)”.
The TMC leader further added that there is nothing abnormal in putting blue and white coats on the barrage. “As West Bengal government maintains this barrage, the officials have put blue-and-white coats here too. There is nothing abnormal. If there is anything which is abnormal, it is the political view of the BJP,” said Anubrata Mondal.
The painting of the dam was stopped last week after BJP’s Youth Wing- Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) raised objections. Speaking to PTI, BJYM’s district president Amit Rakshit said, “We went there and asked them to stop the work.”
Meanwhile, West Bengal Irrigation Minister Soumen Mahapatra slammed the BJP for stopping wirk at the dam. “How can a group of people, led by the BJP, stop work at the dam? Such acts have never happened before.” Mahapatra further said, “They have not only stopped painting work forcibly but brought down the Biswa Bangla logo, which was designed by our chief minister and later the central government accepted it. The BJP is trying to instigate trouble like it is doing in the rest of India, including Assam,” Mahapatra told IE.
Mahapatra added that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will raise the issue at an appropriate forum.
Dumka’s Massanjore dam, built on Mayurakshi River, has a storage capacity of 5,00,000 acre-feet. The farmers of West Bengal’s Birbhum, Burdwan and Murshidabad districts are dependent on its water.