An ardent president of the youth wing of the Trinamool Congress, arrested in Agartala on November 21 on charges of “attempt to murder” and later released, Sayoni Ghosh echoed Mamata Banerjee’s “khela hobe” in Tripura.
Recalling the night of his arrest, Ghosh told News18 in an exclusive interview that it was “terrible” and added that he is adamant on visiting the state again and campaigning against the BJP.
Voting in over 200 seats in Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and other municipal bodies in Tripura will be a litmus test for the TMC, which is trying to enter national politics through the northeast route.
How is the Khela Hobe program going in Tripura? What will happen on election day?
See, ‘khela hobe’ is a common happy word we use in Bengali, which means “play it”. It was used by Didi (Mamata Banerjee) in the election and it became a political anthem, it went viral. Now, we greet each other with the words ‘khela hobe’ and sometimes end our conversation with this. He has nothing to provoke. You can deduce anything from ‘khela hobe’ but it cannot be a matter of provocation. It has been instrumental in our victory that TMC has got a massive mandate.
Have you ever thought that Khela Hobe would sue you?
No, we never thought. It’s a pleasant word, and we got a positive response at the time of the election. This time, after I say, ‘Khela Hobe’ whatever happens, needs attention.
You have been to Tripura. What happened after the Supreme Court order? Will people come out to vote?
But let me tell you that this is a serious situation and there is a gross violation of law and order. It’s been going on for a long time. When I went there for the first time, they had cut off the electricity, they used to say don’t discuss politics (here).
Enough has happened to our workers. Our workers were beaten up everywhere and the police were mere spectacles. There people are helpless and the police is not doing anything. What is this system where the state police cannot do anything?
This time we are worried because we have faced a lot of violence. I thank the Supreme Court and hope that people will come out to vote. If free and fair elections are held, it will be the beginning of the end for the BJP.
Controversy started with your tweet and thus you entered politics. what was your experience how did this happen?
I am experienced now. I can say after nine months. Trolling is something that an actor has to face. forget me, they don’t even spare Virat Kohli Or Aamir Khan. I am used to it. It gets dirty when you are in politics, people attack you personally. I got a “threat” for my tweet in Bengal but Mamata didi saved me. Those threats were from BJP supporters. Didi protected me, she came out to save me. She didn’t know me at that time.
This time when I was in a BJP ruled state, I was questioned at the police station that night. The second attack happened when BJP supporters came with the intention of killing me. The police had to shift me, they wanted to kill me in front of the police. It was really bad, life threatening. If he had got a chance, without any interference, I would not sit here today.
Will you ever forget that night?
Never, one should never forget. I will remember more because I want to go ahead and win. It was an experience that I have shot in a film but never thought it would be real. I will remember this no matter where I go, whatever I do.
Will you go back to Tripura?
of course I will. We are true soldiers of Mamta Di. The people of Tripura need TMC. We have spoken to people from all walks of life; They are tired of Biplab Deb (the Chief Minister of Tripura). If free and fair elections are held, people will give their mandate, so we have to continue our fight.
How will TMC’s performance in municipal elections?
Anything can happen with this CM. They can take a life; We are concerned about the safety of our workers. I would request the BJP government to allow this election to happen properly as the whole country is watching them. The whole world is criticizing the Tripura government.
BJP claims that all of you are provoking and trying to incite riots?
Show a video, their leaders are sitting near the CM and asking the workers to run after TMC. What is this? The allegations they have leveled against me are wrong. Hit and run case without any meaning. They are saying that I was throwing stones at my car, what is this? I’m not a punk. The administration there is confused, they have neither witnesses nor any evidence. They thought we would be scared.
Asansol South (West Bengal) MLA Agnimitra Paul has said that you have been taught a lesson. How do you react?
People will say Madam Agnimitra thinks so.
Kolkata Police summoned Biplab Deb, is this like politics?
It’s not tit for tit. But the police has summoned him, so it is true, ‘Karma’. Whatever you do, it comes back to you.
Now what do you have to say to Biplab Deb?
I would just say ‘khela hobe’. I want to say that TMC will form government in Tripura in 2023 assembly elections. It is ‘gundaraj’ (hooliganism) in Tripura, which will end.