The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mamata lauds democracy win

Calcutta, Sept. 2: Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today further distanced herself from the NDA government by hailing the Supreme Court verdict on the Gujarat Assembly polls and supporting the Election Commission’s stand on this issue.

“I am happy that the apex court has virtually upheld the Election Commission’s stand. This is a victory for democracy,” she observed at a public rally at Esplanade this afternoon. The meeting was organised by Trinamul Youth Congress to highlight the Left Front government’s “failure to solve the unemployment problem and protest against CPM-sponsored violence in rural Bengal”.

Mamata also chose the occasion to recall her past differences with the Vajpayee government over the disinvestment issue. “Ours was the only party in the NDA to protest against the Centre’s move to close down or sell some of the public sector units. Ours was the lone voice of protest and we were virtually isolated within the NDA over the issue. But now even NDA convener George Fernandes has been forced to raise his voice against disinvestment, thereby vindicating our stand,” she asserted.

The Trinamul leader reiterated that her party was outside the NDA as the Centre had not revoked railway minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to stall Eastern Railway’s bifurcation. “No one should think that our fight over the issue is over. We are going to organise a seminar on Saturday on the disastrous fallout of the bifurcation over which a number of experts and former chairmen of the railway board will speak. We will bring out a mammoth rally in the city on September 20 and observe October 1 as Black Day if the bifurcation comes into effect from that day,” she said.

Coming down strongly on the CPM-led state government for the growing unemployment problem, Mamata said her party workers would gherao the district employment exchanges on September 10.

“There is no hope for the young generation as long as the Marxists remain in power. The government is now spending Central funds to pay salaries to its employees. But a time will come soon when they will have to go without salaries,” she observed.

Describing the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation and the People’s War as the CPM’s “creations”, Mamata alleged that the chief minister had directed the police to harass Trinamul workers in the name of suppressing these outfits.

“It is the CPM which had offered arms to these organisations before the Assembly polls to kill and drive away our party workers in different districts,” she said.

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