Raktima Bose

KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said here on Wednesday that if her party emerged victorious in the election to the 81 civic bodies, the Assembly poll would be held within three months rather than in 2011.

Kicking off the Trinamool's campaign programme for election to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), Ms. Banerjee said: “If the people decide to vote us to power in a majority of the 81 civic bodies, I can assure that you do not have to wait till 2011, and the Assembly elections will be held in the State within three months.”

Though she targeted the Communist Party of India (Marxist) as the Trinamool's “primary opponent” for the May 30 election, Ms. Banerjee also indirectly criticised the Congress for breaking up the alliance between the two parties, adding that certain parties were conspiring to “strengthen the CPI(M)'s hand.”

Stressing that her party was part of the United Progressive Alliance government on its own merit, she said it would remain in the government.

“It was our decision to join the UPA government. The Congress is also a part of the government, but it has not made us ministers. Since we are committed and till we get minimum respect and are not pushed out, we will not become the reason for the government to fall. We are not like the CPI(M),” Ms. Banerjee said.

Accusing the Left Front government of amassing huge amounts of money over the last 33 years through extortion and other illegal methods, the Trinamool chief also slammed the Left-controlled KMC board for inefficiency and negligence in the last five years.

“Why is the Mayor not contesting again and what is he running away from? Is he afraid of facing the people? During his five-year tenure, he continued his legal practice at the High Court and took his mayoral responsibilities as a part-time job,” Ms. Banerjee said.