Mamata calls Congress a CPI-M stooge for breaking poll alliance


Kolkata: Trinamool Congress chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Sunday accused the Congress of acting as agents of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) by breaking the alliance for the May 30 civic polls in West Bengal.

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“We wanted an alliance to fight against the CPI-M. We have not broken the alliance. They (Congress) have broken it,” said Banerjee, whose party is the second largest partner of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

“We showed a lot of flexibility. But from the beginning they started saying that they will not share seats in Murshidabad and other parts of north Bengal. Just because we are a regional party does not mean we will tolerate insult,” she said.

“We can bow our heads only before the common people of West Bengal. We will not bow our heads in front of agents of CPI-M who are trying to strengthen the CPI-M,” she said while announcing the list of her party candidates for all the 141 Kolkata Municipal Corporation wards here.

When asked whether she will continue in the central government in Delhi, she said: “We will remain in the UPA-2 alliance as long as we get our due respect. It is not a government of the Congress alone. It is an alliance government where we are also partners like the DMK, the NCP and others.

“They might be a big party in Delhi but in West Bengal we are a bigger political party,” she said.

“The last decision will be taken by the people of West Bengal. If someone tries to provide the CPI-M with political oxygen the people of West Bengal will give them the answer,” Banerjee said in a broadside at the Congress, a day after the party announced a list of 88 candidates for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections.

The two parties have failed to forge alliances in almost any of the municipalities spread across the state.

Banerjee refused to buy Congress general secretary in-charge of the state K. Keshava Rao’s statement that the decision was taken by the state leadership and not the Congress high command.

“Pradesh Congress Committee is not a party. It’s a state unit of the Congress,” she said.

The alliance between the two parties for the Kolkata civic polls fell through Saturday after the Congress released a list of 88 candidates and the Trinamool Congress decided to contest all the 141 wards.

In a further confirmation of her hardening stance vis-a-vis the Congress, Banerjee said there will be no friendly contests.

“We are in a political battlefield and in battlefield there are no friendly fights. We left the Congress and formed the Trinamool Congress to fight the CPI-M and root them out of Bengal and we will continue our fight.”

The final list of 141 Trinamool nominees for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation comprises 54 women and 27 minority candidates.