After she appealed to supporters of Left parties to vote for Trinamool Congress

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's appeal to the supporters of the Left parties to vote for her party at a rally here on Sunday demonstrated that she was not confident of her chances in the coming elections to the Assembly, Mohd. Salim, senior leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has said.

Mr. Salim, member of the CPI(M)'s central committee, said: “She has every liberty in a democracy to appeal to the supporters of any party but this shows that she is not confident in the upcoming polls.”

“Two years ago or even a year back, she was very confident of her own support base, but now even with the ‘grand alliance,' Ms. Banerjee is unsure. Even among those who supported the Trinamool Congress during the panchayat, Lok Sabha and civic elections, a section of the voters do not want to vote for them in the coming elections,” he claimed.

The CPI(M) was also critical of the promise made by the Trinamool Congress chief to release all political prisoners from jail in West Bengal if the party came to power.

Maoists' arrest

Pointing out that a large number of suspected Maoists had been arrested by the State police, another member of the CPI(M)'s central committee, Shyamal Chakraborty, told journalists that these people had been booked as per law.

“She [Ms. Banerjee] will release all of them…Of course she will do so because they are killing supporters of the Left Front. This statement of hers is a fresh encouragement to Maoist actions,” Mr. Chakraborty said.

Meanwhile, the State leadership of the Congress welcomed her call for an alliance with the party even as it regretted that its call for a joint movement with the Trinamool Congress against “the violence of Maoist and Marxist cadres” had gone unheeded.

“Two months ago, I had written a letter to the Trinamool Congress to come for a joint movement against the violence perpetrated by the CPI (M). I received an acknowledgement letter but no reply on the call for a joint movement,” Manas Bhunia, president of the West Bengal PCC, told The Hindu.

“We have always maintained that the alliance was, is and shall remain intact,” said Dr. Bhunia, adding that it was a directive “from the anti-CPI(M) people” of the State. He also said that he had recommended that all sitting MLAs of the Congress be granted tickets and the same seat-sharing formula that was adopted for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections (one-third for the Congress) be used for the allocation of seats this time as well.