Pranab can be Bengal CM: Mamata

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has said she would have no problem if Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee takes the post of WB chief minister if a TMC-Congress alliance comes to power after the next assembly elections.

Last Updated: Nov 05, 2010, 00:25 AM IST

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said she would have no problem if Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee takes the post of West Bengal chief minister if a Trinamool-Congress alliance comes to power after the next assembly elections.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front government, which has been ruling the state uninterruptedly for the last 33 years, is facing its biggest electoral challenge in the assembly elections slated next year.

"I have no problem if Pranab-da takes up the post of chief minister after the 2011 assembly elections. If people want this, then I don`t have a problem. I have no greed for power or the post of chief minister. I am fighting for the cause of the common people, who are fed up with the atrocities of the CPI-M," Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee said in an interview to private Bengali news channel Star Ananda.

The Trinamool-Congress alliance decimated the CPI-M led Left Front in the state in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. The two parties bagged more than two-thirds of the Lok Sabha seats in the state.

"I told Pranab-da that you take up the reins of the state when our alliance comes to power in West Bengal. I have told him that I will give him total support. He laughed it off and told me "have you gone mad?" It`s up to the people to decide," said Banerjee.
The Trinamool and the Congress, however, failed to come together in the last civic polls following difference of opinion over seat-sharing arrangements.

Without naming the Congress, Banerjee took a dig at the party and blamed it for the break-up of the alliance in the last civic elections.
"They (Congress) broke the alliance not only during the last civic elections but also in Siliguri and Uluberia civic elections. But people have blessed us and have voted for us in the last civic elections," said Banerjee.

The crack in the Trinamool-Congress alliance came to light when Congress formed Siliguri civic board with the help of Left Front, after both failed to come to an agreement on who will take away the post of mayor.

IANS