She accuses Opposition of trying to thwart panchayat polls

While West Bengal today is under the control of the Trinamool Congress, tomorrow India may be in the control of West Bengal, party supremo Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday.

Ms. Banerjee, who indicated in the past that she was in touch with the regional parties for forging a non-Congress, non-Bharatiya Janata Party Front ahead of the next general elections, now said it was expected to take shape within the next six months.

She has also been telling party supporters that the West Bengal panchayat polls were a dress rehearsal for the parliamentary elections.

Addressing a series of rallies, Ms. Banerjee said if the Opposition tried to scuttle the panchayat elections, it would be wiped off as and when they were held. “They do not want rural people to get their democratic rights... They are trying to delay and perhaps scuttle the polls… I am cautioning them... The CPI(M), the Congress and the BJP — you will perish.”

Ms. Banerjee, who has been camping in Jangalmahal, in the Left-wing affected area since Wednesday, addressed various meetings in the region, wrapping up the exercise with one at Uluberia in Howrah district near here.

“Over 1.7 lakh nominations have been filed for contesting the rural polls and still they are harping on the law and order issue calling for Central forces,” she mocked.

“All these years, there was no need for Central forces for a local election and now suddenly some have woken up to this need although law and order is a State subject,” she said.

“Let the court decide this issue, but I find this very intriguing.”

Ms. Banerjee alleged at two of the meetings that the BJP was in cahoots with the CPI(M) and that it had accepted money from Marxists during the 2011 Assembly elections.

Ms. Banerjee exhorted people to brave rains and floods (since monsoon is here) to vote and ensure that their franchise was not wasted.