Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on Sunday for allegedly spreading falsehoods about the Left Front government's performance, while addressing a joint election rally on Saturday.
Participating in an election campaign supporting four Left Front candidates contesting from the northern suburbs of the city, Mr. Chatterjee said that he “felt saddened at the height of desperation that forced the Prime Minister into making such statements.”
The Prime Minister, while sharing the dais with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, had expressed concern over the law and order situation in West Bengal and charged the State government for its alleged failure to bring about development in sectors like education, health and industry.
“Since I personally respect Mr. Singh, it hurt me when I saw him reading out a speech written by others that was not based on real information and only intended to malign the Left Front,” Mr. Chatterjee said.
Pointing out that he still harbours interest in politics even after retiring from active politics, he asserted that his distance from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) does not imply that he has lost faith in communism as he still believes that there is no alternative to communism.
Questioning the call for change given by the Opposition, Mr. Chatterjee said: “It surprises me when I see a Union minister refuses to speak to the State's Chief Minister or other Ministers on developmental issues. This, according to me, is a direct attack on constitutional democracy…If this haphazard alliance comes to power, disaster will strike.”
Mocking at the alliance forged between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress with dissident members of both parties contesting against official alliance candidates, he added that the parties do not have any joint policy or common minimum programme.
Accusing the Trinamool Congress of being supported by the Maoists as well as the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha that could have “terrible implications” in the stability of the State, Mr. Chatterjee also slammed a section of the media for running slander campaigns against the Left Front government in lieu of receiving advertisements worth lakhs of rupees from the Railway Ministry.