Kolkata: With West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress sweeping the civic polls in the city and the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday that the victory was an answer to the opposition's slanderous campaign against her.
Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India-Marxist for their strike call for April 30, Banerjee warned of administrative action against those participating in the shutdown.
"This victory is an answer to all the slander and canard that was spread against us. Even with so many TV channels you could not do anything," she said as her party surged far ahead of its rivals in the counting of votes cast in recent polls to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and 91 other civic bodies in the state.
"Leave aside Trinamool, there were so many personal attacks directed towards me. I don't know what would have been the consequences if such things were done in any other state. Yet again it has been proved that in democracy, it's the people who have the final say," said Banerjee.
She also rejected the opposition's charges that the Trinamool employed large-scale violence and electoral malpractices in the polls.
"The polls were completely free and peaceful. Had there been rigging, we would not have lost the few seats that we have lost," asserted Banerjee.
She also slammed the BJP and the CPI-M-led Left Front for the proposed April 30 strike. The Left Front has called a general strike and the Bharatiya Janata Party a shutdown across the state.
Several trade unions - including those affiliated to the Left Front constituents and the Congress - have also given the call for a general strike.
"This was actually a transport strike against the Centre, but I don't know how and when a this strike was directed towards Trinamool. The BJP and the CPI-M are now one and complementary to each other," Banerjee said.
"On April 30, we would be launching Nirmal Bangla Programme where the World Bank and Unicef have been invited. One lakh students in every district will take oath to make Bengal clean and green. Who will take the responsibility if something happens to them?"
"I urge the CPI-M and the BJP to withdraw their strike, because our programme was scheduled much earlier," she said.
Blaming the erstwhile Left Front government's strike culture for ruining Bengal, Banerjee threatened administrative action against those indulging in the shutdown.
"I request all not to indulge in strikes. If needed, we will compensate. Bengal doesn't listen to CITU or the BJP. We will not allow those who are trying to hinder Bengal's progress. Enough is enough. Administration will take strong action against those who indulge in the strike," added Banerjee.