Raktima Bose

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said here on Thursday that Assembly elections in the State, due next year, are expected to be held this coming October along with a few other States, including neighbouring Bihar.

Releasing the party's manifesto for this month's elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Ms. Banerjee said: “As a political worker, I have a feeling that Assembly elections will be held in October when a few other States will also be going to the polls. It is our political calculation that the current State government, which is virtually non-functional for the last one year, will be shown the door in October.”

She said her party would demand early elections if it manages to win a majority in the civic elections on May 30.

Asked if she had discussed the proposition with the Centre, Ms. Banerjee said she had had several discussions with Union Home Minister P. Chidamabaram on the issue but refused to divulge details.

Political decision

“It is a political decision. I have spoken several times to the Union Home Minister but since I am a part of the UPA government, I cannot disclose the details. The Centre has sufficient evidence against the Communist Party of India (Marxist) trying to destroy the Constitution in the State,” she asserted.

Though less caustic than she has been in recent days towards the Congress leadership with whom her party's alliance did not materialise, Ms. Banerjee once more appealed to the people against division of anti-Left votes.

Claiming that only the Trinamool Congress can “salvage” West Bengal from the “clutches of the Left Front”, she urged the people not to fall victim to provocations of “powers trying to strengthen the CPI(M)”.