Kolkata: Lashing out at efforts to cobble up a Congress-Left Front alliance in the coming West Bengal assembly polls, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday dubbed the proposed tie-up as a “mistake” and “devoid of any ideology” and said it would come a cropper.
“The (Left Front spearhead) Communist Party of India-Marxist used to abuse the Congress. They used to call Rajiv Gandhi ‘Bofors Gandhi’ (a reference to the alleged Bofors scandal which broke out during Gandhi’s prime ministerial stint when various members of the Swedish and Indian governments were accused of receiving commission from Swedish gun supplier A B Bofors with regard to the purchase of 155 mm howitzer field guns).
“The CPI-M used to call Indira Gandhi autocrat and painted pictures depicting her in poor light on the walls. The very same CPI-M is now making a volte face. They now want to team up with the Congress. And the Congress leaders are also dancing to the CPI-M tune and welcoming the idea,” Banerjee said at a Trinamool Congress programme here.
She said even if the alliance comes into being, it would not dent her party’s prospects at the hustings.
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“They are making a mistake. They have jettisoned their ideals. Those who forego their ideals, they lose their credibility.”
Highlighting the importance of ideology in politics, she said even if a party becomes weak, it remains a loner by sticking to its ideology. “But those who sell off their ideological beliefs for the sake of power, become non-existent.”
In contrast, she said, her Trinamool has never compromised on its ideals.
Referring to the Trinamool pulling out of the United Progressive Alliance-2 coalition in 2012 on the twin issues of diesel price hike and retail FDI, Banerjee said her party’s ministers had resigned rather than going against its ideals.
“Those who change their ideals,.. the CPI-M, Congress alliance is a big mistake. BJP is also with them. The three parties have come together against us in elections also.
“We don’t care if there is any alliance.. You people won’t be able to weaken me or my party. As long as I live I will live like a lion. But I want them to forge an alliance, so that they can evaluate their political standing.”