Mamata elected as TMC legislature party leader

Congress appears to be positive on the issue of joining Mamata-led govt in West Bengal.

Updated: May 16, 2011, 00:47 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has been elected as the Trinamool Congress legislature party leader on Sunday after her party uprooted the 34-year-old Left front government by a huge majority in West Bengal.

The Trinamool-Congress alliance bagged 227 of the 294 seats in the state assembly, with the Trinamool alone bagging 184 seats.

Other elected members of Trinamool Congress legislature party are Partha Chatterjee and Sobhandev Chattopadhyay. While Chatterjee has been elected as a the deputy leader, Chattopadhyay has been elected as the chief whip.

While supporting TMC, Congress party appears to be turning positive on the issue of joining the Mamata-led government in West Bengal.

"Things are turning positive on the issue," a senior Congress leader said.

The statement was significant as it came close on the heels of senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee ascertaining the views of state leaders as well as newly elected party MLAs on the issue.

Abhijit Mukherjee, son of Union Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who has been elected as MLA from Nalhati is expected to play an important role in Banerjee-led government.

The formality of her election was completed at Maharashtra
Niwas hall in south Kolkata where all the 184 newly-elected
Trinamool Congress MLAs were present.

Addressing the meeting, Banerjee said she was happy that
the Congress had submitted a letter of support to a Trinamool
Congress-led ministry to Governor MK Narayanan.

"We will also submit a letter to the Governor (with the
list of supporters)," she said.

Though Mamata`s party has gained majority on its own, she has invited the Congress and SUCI to join the government.

Asked whether Congress president Sonia Gandhi would attend the swearing-in ceremony in Kolkata, a senior party leader said that if Mamata invites Gandhi it would be very difficult not to accept.

Railway Minister Banerjee, who is a member of Lok Sabha
from a Kolkata constituency, will have to get herself elected
to the state Assembly within six months. She is likely to
contest from a constituency in south Kolkata, TC sources said.

Stating that Banerjee remembered the martyrs of the party with
tears in her eyes, she said, "I am grateful to the struggling
people of Singur, Nandigram, Netai, Mongalkot, Chamkaitola
..... who fought to uphold their democratic rights which were
trampled by the Front government.

Small martyrs columns should be set up in the state in
memory of those who sacrificed their lives at the hands of
CPI(M) all these years, Banerjee said.

Banerjee said she totally disapproved of violence and
revenge and told her MLAs, "Don`t fall into the trap they
(CPI-M) may set and I ask you not to encourage unrest. I
instruct you to ensure that none is assaulted or beaten up and
no party office set on fire.

"They (CPI-M) beat us, injured us, killed us, torched our
houses, and committed many crimes on our people. But people
voted them out and it is the right punishment given to them,"
Banerjee said.

She said life was more precious than gold or diamond and
added, "If the CPI(M) beats us, we will not retaliate."

With PTI inputs