Trinamool to fight the 2016 assembly polls alone: Mamata (Roundup)

Kolkata, July 21 (IANS) Virtually kicking off the poll campaign, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday declared that her Trinamool Congress would fight next year’s assembly elections alone and take on the “unethical alliance” of the BJP, Congress and CPI-M.

“I tell the Congress, the BJP and the CPI-M that they do not have any relevance in Bengal. They do not have any principles. BJP-Congress-CPI-M.. they are in an unethical alliance. We will fight you alone, with dignity and with our heads held high,” Banerjee, the Trinamool supremo told thousands of her supporters here.

Attacking the Narendra Modi-led central government, she said the Trinamool will fight it over the “injustice with and neglect of the state”.

“Our fight has not ended. Earlier, our fight was against the CPI-M; now, it is against the centre. Our fight is against the wrong principles, against injustice, against the fact that the centre has stopped giving funds, against the neglect of Bengal,” Banerje said at a Trinamool rally.

Firing more salvos at the centre, the she ridiculed its allocations for schemes for women’s empowerment.

“The centre has started ‘Beti Padhao’ scheme. They have allotted only Rs.100 crore. We allotted Rs.1,000 crore for ‘Kanyashree’. Ours is ‘Beti Bachao’, their scheme is ‘Beti Hatao’ not bachao’,” she said.

Banerjee also attacked the Modi regime for publicising its ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign.

“Today, everybody is proud of Bengal; we are getting recognition from across the world, be it the United Nations or Unesco or the World Bank. Delhi is promoting ‘Swacch Bharat’, but Bengal has already done it,” she said referring to the UN award for state’s Nadia district’s open defecation-free campaign.

Amid allegations of a section of Trinamool activists being involved in violence, construction syndicates and illegal mining, Banerjee said such people should leave her party.

“If anyone feels he will create bad blood and hold his sway, I would like to tell such people that I won’t tolerate indiscipline. Those who do party work properly, can remain in Trinamool.

“Those who want to be part of (construction) syndicates, you go out of the party, I have no problem. Be busy with syndicate, but don’t be in Trinamool. Those who want to be involved in illegal mining activities, do that, but stay away from Trinamool. We are a party of poor people. We want to remain as a people’s party,” Banerjee said.

In the wake of reports of Trinamool student activists roughing up teachers, she said: “The teachers should be respected, just as you show respect to martyrs.”

The rally was held in memory of 13 Congress activists who died in police firing during a blockade of state secretariat, the Writers’ Building, on this day in 1993.

Banerjee was then in the Congress while the CPI-M-led Left Front was in power in the state.

The Trinamool organises the Martyrs’ Day rally every year on July 21.

The state opposition parties went hammer and tongs at Banerjee after her speech.

Questioning her silence on the chit fund scam, state CPI-M secretarySurjya Kanta Mishra on Tuesday held her responsible for the scandal.

He referred to Banerjee asking those involved in construction syndicates and illegal mining to leave her party.

“But she remained mum on the chit fund scam. And how can she say anything? Because if she says the same thing about the chit fund scandal, then she will herself find no place in the Trinamool as she is responsible for the scam,” Mishra told media persons here.

The Congress accused Banerjee of stifling democracy and said she was playing politics with martyrs.

In an indirect reference to state Power Minister Manish Gupta, who was the home secretary 22 years back, state Congresss chief Adhir Chowdhury said one of those responsible for the firing was now an important member of Banerjee’s cabinet.

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