New Delhi: Daring the Congress party to throw her out of the UPA and virtually challenging the authority of Sonia Gandhi, Trinamool Congress chief said on Thursday that she was not scared of any threats. “Congress will have to face the consequences if the government were to fall,” she said without mincing words.
“We have not said anything. We are not scared of any threat. I know what can happen. I will see when the time comes,” Mamata Banerjee categorically said while talking to reporters in the national capital before meeting Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.
“Mulayam and I named list potential candidates for the post of the President, and then now to take it back will be losing our credibility. Accountability matters the most in life”, the West Bengal Chief Minister added.
“Congress can do what it wants to do. If it wants, it can abuse me. Why should I abuse in return. This is not a village level election. This is the elections for the top post of the country. What wrong did I and Mulayam Singh do in announcing the names of the three people that we did? We gave a clarion call. We want a strong person for the post of the President. APJ Abdul Kalam is a very credible name. Kalam is our number one favourite. And we will be happy if a consensus is built around Kalam,” the TMC chief said playing with a straight bat.
“We would have been ok with both Manmohan Singh and Somanth Chaterjee. It is fine if the Congress party does not want PM as the President,” Mamata added.
“There is nothing related to mid-term elections now, Mamata categorically said on being asked whether see foresaw early General elections.” She also made it clear that she had no intention of leaving the UPA. “If the UPA does not want us to be with them, then what can we do,” she further said.
“I don’t want that the UPA government should be toppled. The ball is in Congress party’s court,” the TMC chief clarified.
However, she did say that she would not attend the crucial UPA meet tomorrow on the issue of Presidential elections.
Congress on Thursday had attacked Mamata Banerjee accusing her of showing lack of courtesy towards the Prime Minister by dragging his name in the Presidential race.
Congress leader and Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said party chief Sonia Gandhi was still working towards evolving a consensus over the name of UPA`s Presidential candidate.
"Disclosing three names including that of the Prime Minister of India, I think this is something which does not make any political or ethical sense....Never ever there has been an instance where a sitting PM`s name is being branded like this,” Ambika had said earlier in the day.
On his part, Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi said today that the process of consultation (selection of UPA’s consensus candidate) was still on. And that in the process of Sonia Gandhi consulting all parties, two names had come up, but a choice had not been finalised.
"If Congress had decided on the name, two names would not have come up…there is a dignity to the process. When such talks are held, names are not discussed outside," he said.