With the Trinamool Congress and the Congress clinching a seat-sharing deal on Monday for the West Bengal Assembly elections, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee said here that she wanted to work together with the Congress to uproot the “35-year misrule of the Left Front” and establish democracy in the State.
Ms. Banerjee said the Trinamool would contest in 227 seats and the Congress in 65 — an additional seat was added to the earlier offer of 64 seats. The other ally, Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), would contest from two constituencies.
“We are happy that the alliance could be forged to fight this historical contest against the misadministration, financial bankruptcy and social erosion perpetrated by the Left Front government for all these years … the alliance has been formed at the behest of maa [mother], mati [soil] and manush [people] to bring about peace, development and secularism in the State,” Ms. Banerjee said at a press conference here, where she released her party's poll manifesto.
Launching a scathing attack on the ruling combination for its “failure to bring about development in every sphere of governance,” the Trinamool chief quipped that while India could send a manned mission to the moon within 23 years of attaining Independence, the Left Front government still talked about “work remaining unfinished” after 35 years.
She alleged that the ruling government had incurred a debt of Rs. 2 lakh crore over the years while it went about closing down industries, snatching land from the poor and neglecting the minority.
“Good governance, restoration of democracy and impartial administration” would be established if the Trinamool was voted to power, she observed.
“I know that it will be a tough and challenging job to inherit a government riding such a huge debt due to chronic corruption and nepotism over 35 years, but we are accepting it,” Ms. Banerjee said.
The manifesto had spoken about provisions for wide-scale reforms in the panchayat and administration system, development of agriculture, setting up of industries, generation of employment, upgrading the health and education system as well as improving the condition of women, minorities and backward classes.
Asked from where the funds required for such extensive programmes would come, Ms. Banerjee said: “Don't worry about money as it will flow in the State. So many people are willing to invest here and are only waiting to see a change [of government] before investing … money is no factor if you have the intention, mission and vision.”
Keywords: West Bengal Assembly elections