West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharyya on Tuesday said the “joint Congress” will be defeated in the coming Assembly elections in the State.

Directing his remarks at Manas Bhunia, leader of the Congress Legislature Party, he said: “May be you are under tension over the status of the alliance [with the Trinamool Congress]. We will defeat the joint Congress.” The Left would not be able to rest in peace till it defeated the alliance.

Criticising Mr. Bhunia for putting Marxists and Maoists on the same platform and also for quoting Marx out of context, Mr. Bhattacharyya said he would send him [Mr. Bhunia] a book on Marx.

Mr. Bhattacharyya was participating in the debate on the Governor's address. Governor M.K. Narayanan delivered the address at the 11th session of the 14th Legislative Assembly last week. This is also the last session before the State goes to the polls from April 18.

Pointing out that there was a grave and real threat from Maoists, he said they must be kept at bay. The Trinamool Congress, left the House after their leader Partha Chatterjee said the Governor's address violated the model code of conduct.

Responding, Mr. Bhattacharjee said, “They are interpreting everything newly; is this the first time that a Governor's address is being delivered ahead of an election?”

Reacting to Mr. Bhunia's remarks on the State, he said,: “Do you like denigrating West Bengal in this manner — don't you see any positives about the State — like land distribution or its progress in agriculture, or the progress made by the State in fields like education ?”

Earlier, Mr. Bhunia said West Bengal was among the most disturbed States in the country and it topped the list in crimes against women. “This is not what the Union Home Ministry's crime records show,” countered Mr. Bhattacharyya. He, however, admitted that there was cause for worry on the front of crimes against women.

Enumerating the State's score on industrial growth, he said that between 2007 and 2009, West Bengal continued to attract industrial investments and now, 2,500 people were working on the Jindal Steelworks project at Salboni in Paschim Medinipur. Other projects too were progressing, he noted.