I don't respect Advani as a leader: Mamata Banerjee

"I respect his age, but I don't respect him as a leader. I never supported destruction of Babri mosque," Banerjee said here. She pointed out that all the four election meetings Advani held  during the day were in constituencies where her party candidates were contesting.

"This shows the BJP has targeted the Trinamool to help the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist). In fact, they have tied up with the CPI-M," she said. Banerjee, who was part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in two phases between 1999 and 2006, said she had never surrendered to the dictates of the saffron party.

"I seldom held joint meetings with them. I had to align with them to save West Bengal from CPI-M misrule as the Congress then was hand-in-glove with the Marxist party." Banerjee also came down heavily on the rebel candidates of her alliance partner Congress. "These people and whoever is sponsoring them are stooges of the CPI-M."

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