We don`t want rift with UPA government: Mamata

The failed alliance with Congress for the May 30 civic polls in West Bengal notwithstanding, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said her party did not want any rift with the UPA government.

Updated: May 27, 2010, 23:19 PM IST

Kolkata: The failed alliance with Congress
for the May 30 civic polls in West Bengal notwithstanding,
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said her party
did not want any rift with the UPA government.

"We don`t want any rift with the UPA government. We want
to remain with our heads held high. That is why we did not
bargain for portfolios. We have only one (Railway portfolio),"
she told an election rally at Behala.
Banerjee said had her party demanded, it could have got
four more portfolios. "We did not ask for it, but it should
not be seen as our weakness. We do not have any lust for
ministries.

"We told (the Congress) you run the central government
but don`t strenghthen the CPI(M) in Bengal. This is our only
request. We cannot betray people and cannot bow to the CPI(M)
and will not do anything to help that party."
Noting that the people`s `mahajot` (grand alliance)
would see her party through in the civic elections, she, in an
obvious reference to the Congress, said "responsibility for
the break up of the alliance rests on the one who broke it.

"Those who broke the alliance for helping the CPI(M),
will answer for it."

Banerjee said she did not want to hurt anyone and the
party has kept its commitment to the people. "It does not
matter what they (Congress) say in a local election."

She, however, reiterated that her party was in the UPA
government not at the `mercy` of anyone. "The government does
not belong to any single party. Congress leads it. It does not
have 273 seats. It`s strength is 206. We are there because
CPI(M) is not there and there are many other allies."

Noting that though the Trinamool Congress was in the
government, Banerjee said it was against price rise of petrol
and diesel, psu disinvestment, privatisation of insurance and
and acquisition of agricultural land for industry.

"They may not accept our demands due to their majority,
but we will continue to oppose it."

On West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee
appealing to BJP voters yesterday not to waste their votes,
she said, "It`s a pity that he is seeking votes from the BJP.
How desperate can CPI(M) get?

"The chief minister who has dubbed me as communal is now
seeking votes from the BJP," she said and pointed out that the
CPI(M) had addressed a public meeting with V P Singh and Atal
Bihari Vajpayee against the Rajiv Gandhi government.
She said the CPI(M) was now trying to make overtures to
Delhi for managing the situation in the state. "You can
control everybody, but not the Trinamool Congress."

She also said there would be a Metro Railway between Joka
in the deep south of the metropolis and BBD Bagh and a Rs 200
crore survey work has begun. It has been sanctioned by the
Railway Board, Finance ministry and the Planning Commission.

PTI