Bengal polls: Mamata reaches out to Congress (Lead)

February 20th, 2011 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Feb 20 (IANS) Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Sunday appealed to the Congress to forge a “grand alliance” with her party to dislodge the ruling Left Front in the upcoming assembly elections in West Bengal.”We want a grand alliance of common people. Here we have SUCI (Socialist Unity Centre of India) leaders with us at this programme. We want them to forge an alliance with us for the assembly polls as they had done in the last 2009 Lok Sabha polls,” Banerjee said while addressing a public rally here.

The Trinamool and the Congress, along with the SUCI, had joined hands before the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and decimated the Left Front that has been ruling the state since 1977. The alliance had bagged 26 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats.

“We are in favour of alliance. We want a grand alliance of people. I am inviting the Congress to forge an alliance with us. I am appealing to the Congress to form the alliance. We want an alliance of Trinamool, Congress and SUCI in the coming polls,” said Banerjee.

Last year, the Trinamool-Congress alliance broke down after the parties failed to reach an agreement regarding seat sharing in the civic elections.

The state Congress leadership had then accused the Trinamool of denying them the respect due to an alliance partner.

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