Mamata Banerjee says Narendra Modi `communal`, won`t support him for PM
In a setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its prime ministerial candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha elections, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday categorically stated that she would not support Narendra Modi even if post-poll scenario demands so.
Zee Media Bureau
Kolkata: In a setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its prime ministerial candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha elections, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday categorically stated that she would not support Narendra Modi even if post-poll scenario demands so.
The Trinamool Congress chief said she was prepared to work with AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa or BSP supremo Mayawati, but not with Narendra Modi.
"I have no problem. I don`t bother (about) the chair, I care for the people," Banerjee told a TV channel, as reported by PTI. Mamata was asked whether she would support Jayalalithaa if the latter wanted to become PM post Lok Sabha polls.
Asked whether she, Jayalalithaa and Mayawati, could work together given their strong personalities and temperaments, the West Bengal CM said, "You will appreciate that under Vajpayee`s leadership we worked together. So who says we cannot work together? We may work together. Strong personalities can work strongly for the country."
When reminded that everybody wanted to be the prime minister, she said "If they want to be the prime minister I will give them support, no problem."
When told that people think that there would be squabble among the three strong leaders, Banerjee said, "There will be nothing. From my side I can assure there will be no scuffle."
Asked whether she would be happy remaining chief minister of West Bengal and supporting a government from outside, she said, "I am working here. For 34 years there were so many problems. No development took place. I am happy with my position. I can tell you that I can give support to all if they are willing to form the government for the betterment of the country. I have no problem."
Asked that in any combination where TMC would be a part, that would require support from either the BJP or Congress to form the government, whose support she would prefer, the fiery TMC leader said, "Please wait and see. After the election results it will be decided."
Banerjee evaded giving a direct reply to a question on her prime ministerial ambition, saying, "I know my limitations. After the results are out, people will decide."
Asked whether she would give support to Narendra Modi if in a post-poll scenario that would help him form the government, Banerjee categorically said "I will not. We cannot support communal forces."
"Don`t you know what happened in Gujarat? We cannot because India is a country with so many languages, caste and creed. We respect all religions," she said.
Reminded that she had not withdrawn support to NDA after the Gujarat riots, she said "We demanded Narendra Modi`s resignation as chief minister and demanded that the government should go."
She claimed that Trinamool Congress protested against the Modi government in Parliament after the riots.
Asked about Modi`s praise for her at a rally in Kolkata last month, she said, "He has been doing this very cleverly. He is saying that you stay in your state and not go out. That`s why I am saying if he had come to Kolkata, I can go to Delhi."
Asked whether she would give support to the Congress, she said, "I will not. They have lost all credentials, all credibility. They have not given us anything.
"They have not even given us funds for the 100-day work and Sarva Shiksha Mission," she said.
She also brushed aside the Third Front being propagated by the Left as `a tea party`.
"CPI(M) is the most opportunist party, they cannot take the lead. This is just a tea party," Banerjee, who vanquished the CPI(M)-led Left Front in 2011 Assembly Elections, said.
Asked whether she was not criticising Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to keep options open, Banerjee said, "He is a junior person. I will not answer any personal question. Ask about the party."
(With PTI inputs)