OTHERS

Inclusion did not figure in talks with PM: Panja

KOLKATA, MAY 20. The dissident Trinamool Congress leader, Mr. Ajit Panja, today reiterated he was ready to undertake any responsibility given to him by the Prime Minister but said that the issue of his joining the NDA Government did not figure in his meeting with Mr. A.B. Vajpayee last night.

Mr. Panja told PTI over telephone from Delhi that he would take up any responsibility ``for the development of the country, especially for the development of West Bengal''.

On his meeting with Mr. Vajpayee, he said ``I have apprised him of the reasons for the defeat of the BJP, the Trinamool Congress and Congress in the Assembly poll. I requested him to ensure that the schemes under the Bengal package for the development of the State are implemented.

``The people should not suffer for the mistake of the Trinamool Congress leadership which did not mention the Bengal package either in the party manifesto or during the poll campaign''.

At a press conference in New Delhi today, Mr. Panja lashed out at the party leader, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, saying she was ``erratic, whimsical and not making up her mind'' and criticised her statements after the party's poor showing in the Assembly elections.

- PTI, UNI