WB: Mamata dismisses black money use charge
Mamata Banerjee claims the 'wild accusations' would not cut much ice with the electorate.
Kolkata: Rubbishing charges that black money was used to fund the Trinamool Congress' poll campaign in West Bengal, party chief Mamata Banerjee on Friday claimed the "wild accusations" would not cut much ice with the electorate.
"What is the credibility of the CPI(M) and the people making these allegations? The CPI(M) should be the last to talk about corruption," she said in an interview in Kolkata when pointed out that the Left has made corruption, especially the 2G and Commonwealth Games scams, a major poll issue.
"Those who have looted crores of rupees from all corners of Bengal in the last three decades are making wild accusations without any basis. The people will decide who is telling the truth and who is making these desperate allegations less than a few days before they become a big zero.
"With the blessings of 'Ma, Mati, Manush', when we assume responsibility, all dirty deals and overall financial mess will be looked into," Mamata said, stressing that democracy and people will be the focus of her party.
Asked if the Railway ministry would continue to remain with the party in the event of her becoming the CM, she replied in the affirmative.
"The Railway Ministry will remain with our party after the elections. So, all projects and plans that were announced will be completed on time," she said.
On Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee's stand that his party would give support to the government and not join it in case of the combine coming to power after the polls, she said, "That is an internal issue of the Congress."
On Congress and Trinamool Congress rebels fighting as independents against the Congress-TC alliance, she said, "The people are making a clear choice in this election. They want us to come to power. They will not waste a single vote in favour of others contesting as rebels."
On tackling the Maoist and Gorkhaland problems, she said, "Development is the answer to all problems. When people have to survive on ant eggs, how will there be no unrest? (sic)."
Stressing that her party would bring peace to the Darjeeling hills through talks, Banerjee said, "We will have as many talks as required".
"In the long term, the solution is better opportunities and better facilities for the people of West Bengal. And we will work for that. I have said this before. I will visit both Darjeeling and Junglemahal within 100 days of becoming chief minister."
Mamata pooh poohed West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's claim that the Trinamool Congress had no policy and that the Left was the only alternative to the Left.
"That is the same Chief Minister who gave us Singur. That is the same Chief Minister who gave us Nandigram. That is the same Chief Minister who is now saying sorry for his previous misdeeds. After Singur I do not think the people will believe him if he says that he is pro farmer and pro worker."
On CPI(M) s campaign that law and order would deteriorate in the event of the Trinamool Congress and Congress alliance coming to power and that women would not be able to venture out onto the streets, the TC chief said, "This is a regime during whose time innocent girls were raped, mothers lost their sons, daughters their fathers, wives their husbands.
"Netai massacre, Kashipur massacre, Sainbari massacre, the list is long. Thousands of our party workers have been killed. Bengal longs for peace. The people of Bengal know that the shortest way to bring lasting peace is not through the CPI(M)....they will only trust the Trinamool Congress. We will definitely ensure that the law and order situation in the state is good," she said.
On the size of her proposed ministry, the Trinamool Congress chief said it would be small and not a jumbo sized one. "I do not wish to reveal all plans now. But we have such a plan in place.
"One of the ideas we are looking at is combining ministries for more effective results," she said. She claimed that the CP(M)-led Left Front government has run up a debt of about Rs 2 lakh crore and it would pose as a hurdle.
"The situation is very bad. They (LF government) is diverting infrastructure funds to pay salaries. It will be a challenge to correct this, but we will do it. Where there is a will, there is a way.
"We have our plans for this. But, we will let you know when the time comes. Recently the Centre gave additional funds to save this government. Even then we are in this bad state," she said.
When pointed out that she would be creating history if she could end the 34-year-old Communist regime, Mamata said, "We have fought this struggle for a long time. In 2001 and
2006 the people expressed their will, but for many years the CPI(M) has not even allowed the people to express their will.
Even in 2006, very few people in the media supported us. "But this time, we are certain that the people will give us their complete support again. 294 (the strength of the state Assembly) is the target for us (Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance)."
Asked what the people of Bengal would get if her party was voted to power, she replied, "We need to bring back the glory of Bengal. We need peace. We need infrastructure. We need development in infrastructure and health. Once all this takes place, there will also be a cultural revival.
"We will introduce a four-tier infrastructure, which will reach every district. A Knowledge Mission will be set up to develop and retain talent in Bengal. We will revive agriculture."
She said that 5-10 farm centres would be set up in each district. "This will help the farmers who cannot hire farming equipment. Subsidies will be provided and priority will be given to the poor farmers and their families.
"We will rehabilitate the PSUs. These are just examples. We have more plans for the state," she said.
Asked what role would Ma, Mati, Manush (mother, earth and people slogan) play in the event of her coming to power, she said, "Ma, mati, Manush will be our guiding principle. We believe in development for all. We will do everything that that we can to take Bengal back to its glorious days."
On reviving the work culture in the state, she said it can be done "by setting an example. If the leader is working hard, then automatically everybody will also work hard".
On her contention that the police have been unionised, she replied, "The police force has to be given back their independence to function better for the people. I say, not all police officers are bad. But so many of them are card-holding cadres.
"Five very senior retired IPS officers are contesting on Trinamool tickets. They will have a role to play in cleaning up the system," she said.
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