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 in 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 from 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 party’s experience in the last three years in Bengal has enhanced the confidence that the people had reposed on it when they voted Trinamool to power.
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“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 agricultural 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.
Mamata maintained that CPM, BJP and Congress leaders have become “Darshandhari leaders” with regularly appearing on television channels while the common people suffered.
Slamming UPA, Mamata described it as a government that took revenge on her government. “They have tried to take revenge against us… but neither the Congress Bureau of Investigation nor the CPM Bureau of Investigation will ever be able to do any harm to the Trinamool Congress government or to its leaders,” she said.
The rally was marked by a record attendance of people from every corner of the state. Mamata claimed 2 to 2.5 million people attended the rally. Life was totally paralysed elsewhere in the city as party supporters began to march to the rally ground since early morning. It was well after evening that normalcy returned in Kolkata.