Verdict for change and stability: Pranab Mukherjee

Reacting to the clean sweep of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, the Congress party on Friday welcomed the “extraordinary” results in five states which went to polls recently.

Last Updated: May 14, 2011, 00:02 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Reacting to the clean sweep of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, the Congress party on Friday welcomed the people’s verdict for change and stability.

Addressing a press conference in the national capital, senior Congress leader and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the people`s verdict was for "stability" and "change".
"The verdict of the people is both in favour of stability and change. It may appear contradictory but it is not," Mukherjee told reporters at the Congress headquarters here as definite results of the Assembly Elections emerged from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam and Puducherry.

"We want to express our gratitude to the people who supported us and gave us their mandate," he said, adding that in states like Tamil Nadu where their alliance with DMK lost they would try to come up to the expectations of the people in the next elections.

"In Tamil Nadu, people voted for change and we accept their verdict with humility. We will try to correct our mistakes and to win the heart of those who did not support us," he added.

Referring to West Bengal where Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee made a clean sweep ending 34-years of misrule by the Left Front, Pranab said, “The Congress party welcomes the people’s mandate for change. The West Bengal verdict is clearly for Mamata Banerjee`s Trinamool Congress. We have been trying to unseat the Left Front government in the state for many years but failed to do so. However, Mamata finally succeeded in achieving the impossible. If you look at the increase in her party’s vote share, you will realise that we (Congress) have also humbly helped Trianmool in some way.”
However, he cleared the air on the prospects of Congress-Trinamool Congress sharing power in West Bengal, by saying, “No decision has been taken on power sharing in West Bengal.”

Congress President Sonia Gandhi is expected to take the final decision on the party`s participation in the new government in West Bengal after discussing with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.

Pranab Mukherjee and AICC general secretary in charge
of West Bengal Shakeel Ahmed are expected to reach in Kolkata on Saturday.

Taking a jibe at the main opposition BJP and other political parties, which contested the elections in these states Pranab said, “The political parties must draw a lesson from these elections. In a parliamentary democracy, elections do take place at regular intervals but the responsible political parties wait for the right time to effect a change. However, they abstain from destabilizing the democratically elected governments.”

The DMK-Congress alliance has lost in Tamil Nadu, while in Assam it has won, and in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress-Congress combine trumped the Left Front. In Kerala, the party-led United Democratic Front just managed to scrape through, while in Puducherry, the party is set to lose the reins of power.

The Congress leader also took this opportunity to express his thanks to the election Commission of India for conducting free, fair and largely peaceful elections in five states.