Mamata Banerjee starts election campaign, wants all 42 seats for makeover in Delhi

Written by Subrata Nagchoudhury | Kolkata | Updated: Jan 31 2014, 19:05pm hrs
Mamata BanerjeeMamata Banerjee at a rally in Kolkata on Thursday. Express Photo: Partha Paul
Kickstarting her campaign for the Lok Sabha polls, Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday launched a direct attack on both the Congress and the BJP describing them as government of corruption and government of rioteers respectively and called for a poriborton (change) in Delhi.

We will bring change in Delhi, she said at a rally held at Brigade Parade Ground here, in remembrance of 13 party workers who were killed during a demonstration in 1993. While indicating that her party will go it alone in the Lok Sabha elections, Mamata renewed her call for a federal front of non-Congress and non-BJP parties.

Claiming that neither the BJP was an alternative to the Congress, nor the Congress an alternative to the BJP, Mamata said people do not want a government of rajtantra possibly hinting at the dynastic rule of the Congress and a government of rioteers.

People want a government of peace and amity, people want good governance and rule of law. We will give a united India to the people, she said, urging millions of party workers and supporters at the Brigade Parade Ground to give all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal to the Trinamool.

Throughout her speech, Mamata maintained that the Trinamool Congress was set to play a crucial role in Delhi. She argued that her partys experience in the last three years in Bengal has enhanced the confidence that the people had reposed in it when they voted Trinamool to power.

In the Lok Sabha polls, the Trinamool Congress will give an alternative to the people... It will play an important role in the federal front with strong regional parties emerging stronger. The more number of seats you give us, the stronger will be our voice in Delhi, she told the gathering.

Mamata also chose the rally to announce that Trinamool will fight the Lok Sabha election in states apart from West Bengal. Underlining the need for a positive government in Delhi, she promised to take her fight outside Bengal and paraded leaders from Manipur, Assam, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Chennai and Kerala, hoping that many Trinamool MPs will come from these states.

Asserting that the Trinamool will provide an alternative path, Mamata briefly outlined her national agenda to bring back black money from abroad, ensure fair returns to farmers for their produce, restoring the dignity of women and a government of prompt, clean action with morality.

There are attempts to malign our state and government by highlighting some incidents where the modesty of our women had been outraged. These are no doubt deplorable, but in each case, the government arrested the culprits and took immediate steps to seek justice, said the CM.

The rally was marked by a record attendance of people. Mamata claimed 2 to 2.5 million people attended the rally.

Want to see Mamata as PM

PRAISING Mamata Banerjee for her governments work for the weaker sections and minorities, litterateur Mahasweta Devi Thursday expressed the desire to see the CM as the Prime Minister. Mamata has worked for the uplift of the weaker sections of society, including minorities and tribals. Her work to restore peace in Junglemahal and Darjeeling Hills has no comparison. She is competent enough to be the Prime Minister, said the 88-year-old Jnanpith award winner. ENS