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Mamata Banerjee to abstain from trust vote

Indrani Roy Mitra in Kolkata | July 21, 2008 16:19 IST
Last Updated: July 21, 2008 16:34 IST

Mamata Banerjee will abstain from the trust vote in New Delhi on Tuesday. The firebrand leader revealed this while addressing a rally in central Kolkata on Monday.

Generously punctuating her speech with popular poems and songs, Banerjee said: "The Trinamool Congress cannot afford to vote with the BJP or the CPI-M. Neither can we support the Congress."

Expressing her discontent over the nuclear deal controversy, the Trinamool Congress leader said the Congress should have taken the people's mandate before going ahead with the deal.

"If the prime minister were so keen on the deal, he should have waited for the people's approval and should have opted for an election."

Citing the reason for her abstaining from the trust vote, Banerjee said, "The Trinamool Congress' main agenda is to stand with the people. It, therefore, cannot vote along with forces like the CPI-M or the BJP. Ideologically, it can neither vote for the Congress."

"Therefore, in the interest of the people of this country, I have chosen to stay away from tomorrow's event."

"People of Bengal are known for their individuality. And the Trinamool Congress has always stood by it. Therefore, Bengal will not go to New Delhi to vote. Rather, it wants New Delhi to come to our land and feel the pulse of the people," she added.

Directly criticising West Bengal's Left Front government for its anti-people measures, Banerjee said the United Progressive Alliance government too has not paid attention to the woes of the common people.

"When the prices of essential commodities are going through the roof, the government should have focused on curbing inflation rather than stirring up the controversy over the nuclear deal. Now is not the time to discuss if the nuclear deal is to be signed or not, now is the time to stand by the poor people of India who are struggling to meet both ends meet," the Trinamool Congress leader said.

Banerjee's rally was attended by Somen Mitra, who left the Congress party on Saturday to float a new party, the Pragatisheel Indira Congress Dal.

For the first time on Monday, two anti-Left forces came together in a unified platform in Kolkata. If Prakash Karat and his team loses the trust vote on Tuesday, the unification of these two forces in West Bengal may pose a serious challenge to the red bastion.

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