The Times Of Inida
Addressing a sizeable gathering at the Bally Athletic Club Ground, in what was the first of her three scheduled public meetings in Howrah before the Lok Sabha by-election on June 2, Mamata lambasted the CPM and the Congress. However, she denied earlier claims by the two political parties that the Trinamool Congress is preparing for an alliance with the BJP which has not fielded a candidate from the constituency.
“So, what if the BJP has not fielded a candidate in Howrah? The party has done far worse by fielding two independents. One of them is Hindi speaking and the other Bengali speaking. These candidates will eat into the vote bank. The CPM, Congress and BJP have all come together to try and undo the development that we are bringing about in the state,” Mamata said. Though she put up a show of confidence, the Trinamool chief made it clear that the key lies in the percentage of votes polled.
“I know that the weather is a problem. But do cast your votes early. If you are not granted paid leave by your employer to cast your votes, get in touch with us and we shall ensure that you receive your dues. Whatever happens, not a single vote should go to waste. While the CPM and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee are desperate to return to power, Congress is vindictive and wants Trinamool to lose the Howrah seat before the panchayat polls in the state. Why else would the Centre declare by-elections in the constituency within three days of the late Ambika Banerjee’s death,” she said.
According to Mamata, people have started asking why she has lost her glow.
“I tell them that I am working overtime to ensure that Bengal returns to the pink of health. While doing this, I care little for my own health. There was so much violence during the CPM’s rule but the Congress in the Centre didn’t take any step. Now that things have improved, the Centre has stopped allocating funds. I have taken it up as a challenge. I will improve the situation in Bengal. I had made commitments to bring about peace in the Hills and Jangalmahal. I have done that,” she said, adding that in the last couple of years, the state’s GDP growth has been higher than the national average.
“So have the agricultural and industrial growth figures. During the CPM rule, Bally used to be a terror hub. Everybody knows that the Bally Municipality, where the CPM is in a majority, is a corrupt body. I can vouch for 99.5% of Trinamool leaders, 0.5% may be bad but we keep them under control. We don’t allow them to get involved in criminal activities like the CPM used to do,” she said.