CPI-M leaders share stage with Rahul Gandhi

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Niyamatpur/Durgapur/Bankura (West Bengal), April 2 (IANS) Giving a boost to the Congress-Left Front tie-up for the coming West Bengal assembly polls, CPI-M leaders on Saturday shared the dais with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi at his three election meetings in the state.

Gandhi, on his maiden round of campaigning for the polls, urged the people to vote for a Left-Congress coalition government and called upon his party workers to go to the masses holding the hands of Left cadres.

The Congress leader began each of his meetings referring to the CPI-M leaders present and sought votes for Left candidates, besides those of his party.

Going all guns blazing against Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, Gandhi said she was doing in West Bengal what Narendra Modi was doing in the country – trying to crush all opposition, and run her government single-handedly.

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He said while the Congress leaders and workers had played a vital role in bringing her to power in the state in West Bengal, she forgot all her promises once she became chief minister.

Attacking Banerjee on the issue of corruption, Gandhi raised the Saradha scam and Narada News portal’s purported sting operation that showed a number of Trinamool leaders accepting bribes in return for favouring a fictitious company. He also blamed the Trinamool for the Vivekananda Road flyover collapse in Kolkata two days back, which has left 26 people dead.

He alleged that Trinamool Congressmen were involved in the construction of the flyover, and termed the structure a symbol of the state of affairs in Bengal.

Gandhi said when the Congress had formed the government along with the Trinamool, both had promised to fight against corruption.

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“But when the country’s biggest scam, the Saradha ponzi scheme scandal, came into the public domain, Mamataji did not say anything against it. Her partymen straightaway took money. The sting operation showed her partymen taking money, but Mamataji is quiet.”

Stating that the Congress did not want Bengal to be steeped in corruption, Gandhi said strict action must be taken against all those involved in graft.

Explaining the reason for his party aligning with the LF, he said that he has gone by the wish of the state Congress leaders and workers.

“I have agreed to whatever you wanted. Now you go along with Left Front workers, hold their hands, and defeat Mamataji and the Trinamool Congress here. Bring a coalition government in Bengal,” he said.

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CPI-M leader and former state minister Bangshagopal Chowdhury, who was present on the stage at Niyamatpur, said: “It is true that we have opposed the Congress’ policies, especially the economic ones.

“But today in West Bengal the situation is such that people can’t even voice their opinion. All democratic norms have been trampled upon. Atrocities are being committed against opposition parties, the civil society and the masses.

“So to restore democracy, we have joined hands with democratic and secular forces including the Congress. We will form a left and democratic secular government,” he said.

The red flags of the CPI-M fluttered alongside the tri-colour of the Congress in all the rallies. Large number of Left supporters, particularly those of the CPI-M, attended the meetings.

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