Even as Trinamool Congress chief, Mamata Banerjee pressed for the formation of a “grand alliance of the people,” while launching here on Sunday the party's campaign for the coming Assembly elections in the State, she stretched her appeal to supporters of the Left as well to vote for the “change” that she promised to bring to the State.
“I appeal to those who have supported the Left Front for these 35 years: The Left ideology is not bad. There are many among you who were also pained by the genocide at Netai and Nandigram. You have given a lot to one government, but this time support the change that is sure to come,” Ms. Banerjee said at a rally organised by the party to protest against incidents of what it described as “genocide” in West Bengal.
Alleging that the leadership of the Left Front was involved in large scale corruption, her appeal was directed at “those who believe in the Left, but not in the misrule of the Left Front.”
Welcoming the Congress as well as the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) to an alliance with the party, Ms. Banerjee said, “if the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has to be ousted from power, everyone has to be involved.”
The meeting was held a week after the massive Left Front rally on February 13 when it launched the election campaign at one of the largest public congregations in the city in recent times.
Outlining the Trinamool's agenda if it came to power, Ms. Banerjee assured that “justice will be done to all victims of genocide in West Bengal.” “It is heartbreaking that in the 35 years that the Left has been in power, there has never been any justice for the victims of genocide,” Ms. Banerjee said, citing massacres that have occurred where allegations against the CPI(M) have been made.
She also promised the release of political prisoners, administrative reforms, impetus to both agriculture and industry in the State, and the creation of employment opportunities for the youth.
“Let there be a competition between the 35 years of the Left Front and the one-and-a half years that I have been a Minister,” Ms. Banerjee said claiming that 55,000 large companies and 1.34 lakh small companies have been forced shut in the years that the Left has been in power whereas she, in her present tenure as Railway Minster has been responsible for the setting up of 16 factories in the State.