Mamata to go it alone in elections

Mamata to go it alone in elections

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday made her national aspirations clear with the slogan “Chalo Delhi”, as she exhorted Trinamool Congress members to work for winning seats beyond the state. She also announced that the party would go it alone in the elections.

“In the Lok Sabha elections, Bengal will show the way for India. We need a positive government at the Centre. We want parivartan (change) in Delhi. We don’t want a corrupt government. We don’t want the face of riots at the Centre,” she said, taking on the Congress and the BJP.  Incidentally, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi would address a rally on February 5 at Brigade Parade Ground, the same venue where Banerjee sounded the poll bugle on Thursday. In her usual style, interspersed with poetry by Rabindranath Tagore and Nazrul Islam, along with some other Urdu couplets, Banerjee kept a congregation of lakhs enthralled. The city police later said around 10 lakh people had gathered at the venue. “A federal front is needed at the Centre to strengthen the country’s federal structure. Trinamool will play an important role in this,” she said. “If needed, we will let our friends in other states assume power in Delhi. I want wellbeing of the people. I don’t want chair or power.”

The chief minister asked her supporters to ensure that the party won every seat in Bengal and elsewhere. “It’s not a matter of over confidence. Our fight is against the Congress, BJP and the CPM. It’s a big fight. The more seats we win, the better it will be for Bengal,” she said. Claiming that the CPM, Congress and the BJP joined hands in Bengal like the last panchayat polls, Banerjee said: “They will destroy Bengal if they get a single seat here.” Further clarifying her national aspirations, she said neither the BJP nor the Congress were fit to be at the Centre. “The Trinamool Congress is the alternative,” she said.

“We must fight against corruption. Our fight is for the people. We’ll contest outside Bengal, too. I’ll campaign in other states,” she said, adding that Trinamool would field candidates from Manipur, Assam, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and other states.

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