Mamata Banerjee is unfazed by her exclusion in the recently-formed Third Front which she rubbishes as an unviable “tired front” and is confident that a different kind of Federal Front will rule the country after the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
The West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo is also keeping open the option of whether she is a contender for the prime ministership, saying “people will decide”. She ruled out any truck with Congress or BJP and hoped that people would “reward” her party “abundantly” in the polls. “No matter. Any force with the Communists in it is not viable because the people have rejected the CPI(M). So,… it is not Third Front, it is Tired Front,” she told PTI in an email interview.
Mamata was responding when asked how she sees coming together recently of 11 parties to form the Third Front which includes Left parties, Samajwadi Party, JD(U) and JD(S). Asked whether she felt left out as she was not included in the ‘Third Front’, Mamata replied, “Nothing like that.”
She insisted that “any Front of significance (including Trinamool) will only come together after the results are
announced… We are hopeful that a Federal Front government will lead this nation. “Questioned as to how this was possible and who could be her allies after elections, she remained vague. “Making empty noise now is one thing. It is not important. What is important is to come to Delhi in May with many dozens of Lok Sabha seats. The Federal Front will take shape with this model, on the plank of common policies.”
On whether she will be a candidate for the prime ministership in case a ‘Federal Front’ is formed, the Trinamool chief said, “Throughout my three decades of struggle, people have always been my motivation and inspiration, not ‘kursis’ (chair).” At the same time, the former Union minister dropped enough hints about her ambition. “I have experience of working at the Centre, I have also experience of working in a state. In a democracy, people will decide.”
Commenting on the current political scene, Mamata contended that “Congress is not the alternative to BJP and BJP is not the alternative to Congress.” Hitting out at Congress with which she had an alliance till about two years ago, she said, “People are tired of corruption. People are tired of dynasty.” She also targeted BJP, saying “People are tired of parties that encourage riots.”
Maintaining that people of the country want development, peace and progress for the nation and for the states to happen hand in hand, the West Bengal Chief Minister said she has been focussing on these issues only. “Our focus has been on developing Bengal so that the people will reward us abundantly in the Lok Sabha elections,” she said.
Besides West Bengal, Trinamool will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jharkhand, she said.