We will not bargain: Mamata (Lead)

May 17th, 2009 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Kolkata, May 17 (IANS) While ruling out any bargaining for cabinet portfolios, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Sunday said her party wanted the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to work peacefully and complete the five-year term.
“Let the government work peacefully and continue for five years. It must work in the interests of the downtrodden… we want development, stability and secularism and people’s security and safety and a solution to the unemployment programme,” Banerjee told newspersons, giving a broad framework of the agenda she expected the government to pursue.

She said providing electricity, drinking water, roads, 100 days’ work and safeguarding the interests of the peasants and the urban sector should be among the UPA’s programmes.

Asked if she will seek the railway ministry for herself, Banerjee replied: “We are not in favour of any political bargaining. We never go for bargaining. In 1999 also when I got the railway portfolio it was decided by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.”

Banerjee expressed happiness at the UPA not taking support from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M). “Please note that I am talking of the CPI-M, and not about any other Left parties.”

She said a meeting of the Trinamool parliamentary party will be held Monday at her residence here and pass a resolution announcing its formal support to the UPA.

Earlier in the day, Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi said his party was confident that the Congress will have take the party “on board” in the new UPA government.

On the Trinamool joining the UPA government, he said: “We are not really in the game of bargaining, we are going to work for people. We have a significant number - the largest number (19 seats) as far as UPA allies are concerned. I am sure the Congress will be interested to have the Trinamool on board.”

He also said that Banerjee would not fight for any position. “Our main ally has been the Congress. We haven’t reached the stage where we are talking about anything. It’s between (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi and Mamata. They have a fantastic equation, and will do whatever is good for democracy and for the people.

“You know Mamata, she has never hankered for any kind of position. Our objective is to give stability to this country. (Earlier) even two MPs would bargain to bring instability to the country. We want to give dignity to parliament and dignity to the government,” he said.

West Bengal’s ruling Left Front got its lowest tally since 1977 in the state - 15 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats - as the Trinamool won 19 and the Congress got seven.

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