Kolkata: Making it clear that Trinamool
Congress would remain a "trusted" ally of UPA government for
its full tenure, party chief Mamata Banerjee has kept her
cards close to her chest on an alliance with Congress for the
West Bengal Assembly polls, saying that "nothing is closed".
"I will speak on what is happening today. I will not
speak about the future. We have gone to the people when all
others had left us and they (people) have supported us. When
opportunity comes in the future, we will speak. Nothing is
closed," Banerjee told a news agency in an interview after her party`s
triumph in civic polls which it fought without a tie-up with
"When the UPA-II government was formed, we as an ally
made a commitment to remain in it for five years. We will
stay unless we are pushed out," Banerjee said.
55-year-old Banerjee, however, said, "those who are
saying that we are not to be trusted, should understand that
we are more trusted then anybody else. There cannot be
comparison between our commitment and those of others. We only
want love and respect."
Stating that the Left parties were the main allies of
the UPA-I before they quit on the nuclear deal issue, she said
her party will remain in UPA-II "as long as CPI(M) is not
"If there are relations with the CPI(M) we cannot
stay. We cannot co-exist with the CPI(M) just as and DMK and
AIADMK cannot coexist," the TC supremo, whose party is the
second largest ally in the UPA with 19 MPs, said.
On her ties with the UPA, the Railway Minister said
that there should be reciprocity "in the way we love and
respect them. We also want a reciprocal gesture. We don`t want
anything more than that."
Describing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as "a good man
and a gentleman", she said, "We have got all his blessings and
support. He is a good administrator. He has information about
who is doing what."
Asked about a senior Congress leader saying in the
acrimonious run-up to the civic polls that alliance could not
be made at the cost of the party, she said, "I respect senior
leaders of the Congress.
"I have no comment. Anybody can make some comment. It
is their prerogative and their choice."
On suggestions by a section of Bengal Congress
leaders that the party could not be written off because of the
the civic poll outcome and was in a position for seat-sharing
on honourable terms with the Trinamool for the 2011 assembly
polls, she said, "They got the verdict of the people. The
verdict itself speaks about performance."
To a question on CPI(M) Politburo member Biman Bose`s
statement that Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee would
not step down and there was no question of advancing the
assembly elections, she reiterated, "We are in favour of the
She accused the CPI(M) of raising the bogey of post-poll
"If there was violence, it would have erupted within
72 hours," she said when asked about CPI(M) statement that the
chief minister had skipped the CPI(M) Politburo meeting in New
Delhi to control post-poll violence in in the state.
"That there was no post-poll violence, credit should
go to us since we have told our workers not to take out
victory processions maintain restraint. By raising the bogey
of violence, the ruling party is trying to instigate