Durgapur (West Bengal): Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday shared stage with leaders of the Left Front, with which his party has entered into a seat-sharing agreement for the West Bengal Assembly elections, and expressed confidence about the formation of a coalition government in the state.
Accusing chief minister Mamata Banerjee of unleashing "dictatorship", he said his party has joined hands with the Left Front to defeat Trinamool Congress in a state where corruption is rampant.
"Congress and Left Front government will come to power in the state after the election," he told election meetings of the two parties. Gandhi said when he asked Congress leaders in the state as to how they wanted to fight the polls, they replied that they "don't want her dictatorship and want to join hands with the Left to defeat TMC". "I told them if you want this, it will be done. Now, stand up together with the Left and defeat TMC," he said.
It is significant that Gandhi spoke of a coalition government with the Left in West Bengal where there is only a tactical seat adjustment between the two parties, while they are rivals in Kerala.
Hitting out at Banerjee, the Congress vice-president alleged that she had unleashed a "dictatorship" in the state. "Five years ago, in the 2011 Assembly polls, we had not extended support to her for starting a dictatorship," he said.
Referring to the Narada sting operation against TMC leaders, he said, "No action has been taken against them. No action has been taken against those involved in Saradha scam in five years by Banerjee."
Gandhi charged that "corruption in Bengal under TMC rule has reached such a point that Congress and Left have come together to fight and defeat TMC".
Congress and Left Front workers attended Gandhi's meetings on a sultry day on the campaign trail for the upcoming polls and the Congress vice-president expressed happiness that they had turned up to hear him.
Gandhi urged Congress workers to go to the people and seek their support for helping the formation of a coalition government in Bengal.
At another rally in Bankura, Rahul again attacked Mamata Banerjee for "not keeping" her poll promises. She had assured the people of providing employment to 70 lakh people, but no jobs were given, he said.
Banerjee, he said, claims credit for schemes which are actually centrally sponsored ones and for which "she had not done anything". He cited the example of MNREGA which guarantees 100 days of wage employment in a year to rural households and was
launched by the UPA government.
The Congress leader also claimed that money sent for implementation of drinking water scheme in Jangalmahal area by
the then Manmohan Singh government was returned back.