Could have garnered more votes in support of Yashwant Sinha: Mamata

Trinamool Congress chief and the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday claimed that had she wished she could have garnered more votes in support of the opposition Presidential candidate Yashwant Singh.

“Had I wished I would have secured additional votes in favour of the opposition candidate even from the kitty of BJP. But I deliberately refrained from that,” the chief minister said while addressing the rally on the occasion of the party’s annual Martyrs’ Day rally at central Kolkata on Thursday afternoon.

The chief minister’s stand on the issue of Presidential Polls had been quite shifty since the beginning. She was the one to initiate the meeting of the opposition parties to field a united opposition candidate in the Presidential polls. Finally, the opposition zeroed in on Yashwant Sinha, who had to resign from Trinamool Congress’s national vice- president post to contest the polls.

However, soon after BJP announced the name of Draupadi Murmu as National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate, the chief minister said that she could think positively about Murmu had BJP informed her about their choice before. Her shifting stand on this count evoked sharp criticisms from non- BJP parties like Congress and CPI(M).

Meanwhile, BJP has ridiculed the chief minister’s comment on Thursday that if she wished she could have managed more votes for Sinha. “The chief minister is becoming lonely in national politics. Nobody trusts her and such comments are reflections of her frustrations,” said BJP’s state spokesman in West Bengal, Shamik Bhattacharya.

Speaking at the Martyrs’ Day rally on Thursday after, the chief minister also issued a strong note of caution against her own party leaders and asked them to refrain from extortion. “I have information about two instances where some of the party workers tried to extort money in the name of this Martyrs’ Day rally. If you hear of anyone extorting money from people in the name of Trinamool Congress, just grab him and take him to the police station.”

BJP state president in West Bengal and the party MP, Sukanta Majumdar said that the chief minister is feeling the heat of insubordination within her own party from the leaders involved in rampant corruption. “That is why she had to issue this note of caution from the Martyrs’ Day dais,” he said.

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