Emboldened by her party's landslide in the West Bengal civic elections, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said here on Thursday that she would request the Centre and the Election Commission to hold Assembly polls in the State along with that of Bihar and few other States due in October. Assembly elections in West Bengal are due in 2011.

Addressing journalists, Ms. Banerjee said: “I am not in favour of imposition of President's rule in the State. I prefer early Assembly elections and would request the Centre and the Election Commission to advance them along with Bihar and few other States.”

She reiterated that advancing polls in the State falls within the purview of the Constitution and that it was the Centre's responsibility to look after the well-being of the people of a State whose government has “stopped functioning.”

“If there was governance here, I would have nothing to say. But the current State government is incapable of rescue operations and providing relief materials to its people during disasters. Files have not moved at the Writers' Building [State Secretariat] for over a year now. So let a government come to power that will work for people.”

She also cast doubt over the State's capacity to tackle the Maoist menace as well as any security-related problem arising out of West Bengal's strategic location.

“West Bengal is the gateway to the north-eastern States, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. What if there is a terrorist attack? The State government should be strong. I am talking from the national, international and security points of view,” Ms. Banerjee said.

Asked about the Communist Party of India (Marxists)'s statement that the Assembly election would be held as scheduled, she said: “It has no morality and no accountability to the people, but still continues to cling to power by force. If the leaders have any shame left, they will realise soon or else people will decide.”