KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday kicked off her election campaign, walking more than 7km and raising slogans for the defeat of the “Congress-CPI(M)-BJP nexus.” A large crowd joined her and scores of people came out of their homes to greet her. Tuesday being Women’s Day, a number of TMC women nominees accompanied Mamata.
The CM raised the slogans, Thanda thanda cool cool, again will win Trinamool and Haat, haaturi padmo, Banglar manush korbey jabdo (Hand, hammer and lotus, Bengal masses will teach a lesson). While walking, Mamata told Express: “Congress has become Marxist Congress and will be wiped out from their so-called strongholds, in Malda and Murshidabad. Alliances should be based on principles. This is nothing but an unholy alliance with CPM. For both Congress and CPM, it’s a question of existence.”
Taking a swipe at the media, she said, “A section of media is helping them. As I am not an intellectual and don’t speak fluent English, media houses are attacking me. I take this as a challenge. They believe in western culture and want leaders like that and treat me like dirt. I don’t even take leave and cannot sleep at night.” She accused the BJP of conspiring to foment communal riots and alleged that along with the CPM and Congress, it was spreading canards against Bengal. She vowed to ‘expose’ opposition leaders’ links with chit fund companies.
The agnikanya (fiery girl) of Bengal also lamented that she had committed mistakes by calling for strikes as an opposition leader and felt that then CPM-led government’s negativity ruined the state. On her agitation against land acquisition for Tata Motors at Singur, she said, “I am open to discussions. But Tatas have to return 400 acres out of 1,000 acres. I am against acquisition of farm lands for SEZ. That is why we had problems with Infosys. We are willing to accommodate them in a different manner.”