Congress, CPM ganging up with BJP for West Bengal panchayat polls, says Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: Accusing the Congress and CPM of ganging up with the BJP for the coming panchayat polls, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked the two parties whether they supported the saffron outfit's ideology in the state.

"We want one-to-one fight against BJP, because it is a communal party. We believe in that. CPM and the Congress also say the same thing. But in Bengal, they are together. They are three brothers here. Does that mean they (Congress and CPM) don't consider BJP in Bengal as communal? They should clarify?" she said.

Training her guns on the Congress, Banerjee asked how come they were with the BJP in Bengal, and fighting the party outside. "Congress, rather than fighting (Narendra) Modi and Amit Shah, tied up with the BJP. They should first answer people how they have joined forces with the BJP overnight. In Bengal they are with BJP. Outside Bengal, they are fighting the BJP. How come is that possible?"

File image of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File image of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

Banerjee lashed out against the Communist Party of India-Marxist leaders for failing to declare 'jihad' against the RSS, and held them responsible for the CPI-M people contesting as BJP candidates in the upcoming polls. "BJP had contested only 11,000 seats in 2013. This time they are in fray in 38,000 gram sabha seats. CPM 'harmads' (pirates) have joined them. CPM should be ashamed. Today, CPM can't put up candidates. This has happened for their leaders. They should have declared a jihad against RSS. They should explain it to their cadres."

Denying allegations that the opposition parties were being forcibly prevented from filing their nominations, she said the opposition has put up 90,000 candidates for the around 58,000 Panchayat seats. "Including independents and smaller parties, the figure is 90,000. The opposition could not file nominations in some seats because they lack people, lack a tight organisation. Moreover, many seats have been reserved for Scheduled castes, tribes and Other Backward Classes. It is difficult to find the right candidates for these seats," she said at the state secretariat Nabanna.

Banerjee said in 2003, her party had contested only 30,000 of the 58,000 seats. In 2008, her party could put up only 35,000 candidates. She also castigated the Left parties for calling a general strike on Friday and said public life would not be disrupted on that day. "It's only a drama. There will be no strike or shutdown on that day".

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Updated Date: Apr 12, 2018 11:20:26 IST

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