The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mamata wants 'real' mahajot
- Amid two drubbings and a triumph, leader sees need to spot traitors and cleanse party

Calcutta, June 21: Wiser from another poor showing, Mamata Banerjee today floated her brand of mahajot (grand alliance) and said a realignment of 'real anti-CPM forces' would take place before the Assembly polls next year.

'The much-hyped jot (the United Democratic Alliance) formed days before the polls by those who broke away from us and the Congress was an opportunistic tie-up to help the CPM wrest the civic body from Trinamul. I shall start working on bringing together those anti-CPM forces which could really remove the CPM from power,' Mamata told a news conference at her Kalighat residence this afternoon.

Indicating that there would be further realignment of anti-CPM forces before the battle for Writers', the Trinamul leader said some Left parties, which are opposed to the CPM, might also join the alliance. 'Wait for a few more days. A realignment of forces will help us take control of Writers' next year,' she said. 'Let the CPM be happy with chhoto lalbari (the Calcutta Municipal Corporation headquarters that is also painted red like Writers'), we are eyeing boro lalbari (the big red building).'

Elaborating on the grand alliance she was envisaging, Mamata said talks were on at various levels to make it a success. 'The sole agenda of the proposed alliance will be to take on the communists in the Assembly elections.'

Asked if the Congress would also figure in such an alliance, she flared up: 'Let the Congress first decide whether it wants to fight the CPM. We will not accept those who form the government at the Centre with support from the CPM but oppose it in Bengal. We hate such double politics.'

Mamata said the Trinamul-BJP combine's performance could not be looked down upon. 'We have won 45 wards against all odds. This is not a small achievement for us as we have won them fighting the CPM's massive rigging machinery and administrative network. Added to them was propaganda by a section of the media against us,' she added.

She said the new alliance was rejected by the people because its leaders were 'treacherous', in an obvious reference to former mayor Subrata Mukherjee, who quit Trinamul a couple of months before the polls. 'It is good that we have been able to identify the real gaddars (traitors), who walked out of the party and formed the UDA. I am happy it will soon go into political oblivion... People do not support back-stabbing.'

Admitting that the party had suffered because of the split engineered by Mukherjee, Mamata said she would carry out a 'purification' drive to identify and weed out the traitors. 'Those who want relations with the CPM have no place in our organisation.'

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