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Mamata hints at walking out of NDA
September 06, 2007 18:02 IST
In a move aimed at wooing minority communities of the state, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Thursday hinted at snapping ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance saying her party was trying to 'stand on its own' in West Bengal.
"We are now with no one and are trying to stand on our own," Banerjee, an estranged ally of the NDA alliance, said at a madrassa student felicitation programme in Kolkata.
She said, in recent times, her party was going ahead with agitation programmes on its own, be it Singur or Nandigram.
"In West Bengal, our party is going it alone."
She had never betrayed the minorities even when she was a minister in the NDA government, Banerjee said, accusing the Communist Party of India-Marxist of falsely dubbing her as communal.
"The CPI-M had even campaigned during the last Lok Sabha elections that our party was involved in the Gujarat riots. We fought against TADA, voted against POTA and had demanded the resignation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the riots," the Trinamool supremo said, in a apparent effort to win back the confidence of minorities who constitute 27 per cent of the total population in West Bengal.
Banerjee, however, said that she had respect for BJP stalwart A B Vajpayee and had joined the NDA 'as we were determined to fight the CPI-M in West Bengal. Our fight against CPI-M atrocities will continue.'
Trinamool Congress had not supported NDA's presidential candidate and abstained from voting. The party also did not disclose for whom it voted in the vice-presidential election.
"During the Left Front's 30-year rule, no development work was done for minorities in the state. The percentage of jobs for Muslims came down to just one per cent from the earlier two per cent," she claimed, while urging them not to support the CPI-M in future polls.
Questioning the CPI-M's strong opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal, she asked why the Marxists were silent for so long as the deal was already finalised in 2005.
"They are only resorting to a drama," she alleged.
She claimed that the Left raised the anti-US plank to garner minority votes in the upcoming polls.
"They are travelling by air-conditioned bus to protest against the US. But the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government has no hesitation in accepting money from the World Bank and DFID," she said.
The Trinamool supremo claimed to be the only leader in the state to protest against the demolition of Babri Masjid. She demanded that a special package for minorities should be announced in the wake of the Sachar Committee report.
Banerjee also set a month's time-frame for the state government to announce the formation of a university for madrassa students and warned: "Or else we will take to the streets."
She also demanded setting up of a madrassa education service commission on the lines of the School Service Commission.