Saturday, March 9, 2013

Polls two or three months away, says Mamata

KOLKATA, March 9, 2013

The Lok Sabha elections are two or three months away and her party could well be in the next government at the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee said here on Friday.

This fuelled speculations of, among other alternatives, her party returning to the National Democratic Alliance, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the event of it coming to power after the polls, whenever they maybe held.

"In another two to three months, the elections will be held and, if required, we will get back the Railway Ministry," she said.

A seminar organised by the women's wing of her party to commemorate International Women's Day turned out to be another platform to promote her political agenda, with Ms. Banerjee, targeting the United Progressive Alliance government for not helping her government out of the financial crisis it faces.

"By doing so (not bailing out the State government), it is trying to hold back development in the State; but it is only a matter of another three months," she asserted.

The Centre "cares little" for the people, hiking prices of fuel, cooking gas and fertilizers frequently. "It is doing as it wishes and has become a hot-air balloon of vanity," she said even as she took a dig at those "born with a golden spoon in their mouth." Was it directed at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who is being touted by a section of the party as a possible Prime Ministerial candidate?

"Do not ever be vain … If you wish to attain greatness you have to be submissive, disciplined and determined," Ms. Banerjee's advised, adding that she always wants to remain "an ordinary person" despite the trappings of power; one "who never availed a government car, home or accepted government salary or sat in the VIP lounge in airports", who as Railway Minister had "never seen what a railway saloon looks like and how different it was from a shop (hair-cutting) salon."

On her party being given back the Railway Ministry after the next elections, she promised that all the work that remains to be done "after having set up 16 railway projects in Bengal" when she held the portfolio would then be completed.
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