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If Mayawati can eye West Bengal why wouldn’t Mamata seek her pie in Uttar Pradesh?

Written by Mohd Arshi Rafique | Lucknow |
April 17, 2009 2:47:02 am

If Mayawati can eye West Bengal why wouldn’t Mamata seek her pie in Uttar Pradesh?

Almost in reply to Chief Minister Mayawati’s political ambition that led her to field BSP candidates in all 42 seats in West Bengal,Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has fielded her party candidate from Lucknow.

Planning to expand her party beyond its bastion West Bengal,Mamata has given a ticket to one Rajesh Kumar Pandey from Lucknow.

Pandey,the editor/publisher of a monthly political and social magazine Lok Drishti,dubs the decision as the Step One towards establishing the party base in Uttar Pradesh.

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“It is the most populous state,with the highest number of constituencies. How we could ignore it?” said Pandey,who was canvassing in Rabindrapalli,a colony dominated by Bengalis.

“I am getting support not only from the Bengalis in Lucknow,but from every section,” he said,asserting that Mamata Bannerjee’s popularity knows no bounds. “Her biggest strength is her clean image,” he said. “Despite holding charge of important ministries,Mamata faces no charge of corruption,unlike her opponents.” He named no name,but the indication was clear enough.

Claiming to be in regular touch with Mamata,Pandey says Trinamool is eyeing the next Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh,scheduled for 2012.”

The groundwork to establish the party in the state has begun and further strategy will be chalked out soon after the election,he said. The party’s current target is to do well in West Bengal,where it has fielded 28 candidates and left 14 seats for ally Congress.

Despite knowing well that the Trinamool,which doesn’t have an office in Uttar Pradesh,may end up bringing up the rear,Pandey is not worried. “I am concentrating on my poll agenda — corruption and development and reaching out to the maximum number of people.” His magazine,he said,has been exposing corrupt officials for the last two years.

“Corruption is the biggest worry in Uttar Pradesh and Didi (Mamata) has a track record of exposing it,” he said.

So will Mamata be coming here for his campaigning? “I wish she could,” said Pandey,quoting the Ekla Chalo Re — (a Tagore poem advising one to fly solo if need be)” mantra that ‘Didi’ had sent him with her best wishes.

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