Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee received total support in her political battle from social activists Medha Patkar and Swami Agnivesh at the ‘apolitical' anti-violence democratic platform here on Monday with the duo projecting her as the next Chief Minister of West Bengal.

Show of solidarity

Sharing the dais with Ms. Banerjee and her party leaders in a show of solidarity even as the temperature and humidity soared, Ms. Patkar said: “Since the Trinamool Congress has taken up the challenge to fight against exploitation and corruption not only till 2011 but beyond, we are supporting it.”

Swami Agnivesh said: “Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee must be having sleepless nights these days. He would be sent away for a long break after May 2011 when Ms. Banerjee's era would start.”

Both also praised Ms. Banerjee for her “courage” to raise her voice against the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Cr.PC imposed in the region.

Ms. Patkar appealed to the left-wing extremists to lay down arms and come to the negotiating table for the progress and peace of the poor tribal people.

“In my opinion, the Jnaneswari Express incident and the resultant death and destruction were despicable. I want to tell the Maoists that by killing innocents, they are alienating people from their cause. So we ask for peace and not violence,” she said.

Swami Agnivesh wanted the Maoists to wage a “democratic resistance” and demanded a judicial inquiry into the killing of Maoist spokesperson Azad and Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee members, Lalmohan Tudu and Sidhu Soren.