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Kalighat discovers Alimuddin Street

- Mamata invites herself to CPM base

Calcutta, Nov. 20: If Marxists won’t go to Mamata, Mamata will go to Alimuddin Street.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today said she could go to the CPM state headquarters on Alimuddin Street to persuade her arch-rival to move the no-confidence motion she had floated.

“My appeal to the CPM is to not do anything to bail out this minority government, steeped in corruption and taking numerous anti-people decisions,” she said on her way out of Writers’ Buildings this afternoon.

Asked if she would speak to the CPM leadership, Mamata said: “You tell Biman Bose, if the party has reservations about our party bringing the motion, let the CPM bring it. We will support.… I could go to Alimuddin Street and talk.”

This is probably the first time Mamata has publicly expressed her wish to visit Alimuddin Street, although she has been staying around 6km away, near Kalighat, for decades.

Reacting, Bose said: “She is welcome at Alimuddin Street. We can always discuss different issues. But we won’t support the no-trust motion. We know that the UPA II government cannot be dislodged. So, what purpose will the motion serve?”

Bose promised sympathy but no tea — perhaps wary of a “social boycott” Mamata’s party had declared on the CPM. A Trinamul minister had exhorted supporters to not even “sip tea” with CPM activists.

Bose did not rub it in but Sitaram Yechury did so in Delhi. “What can we say? She herself chose to boycott the CPM. Trinamul leaders asked their partymen for social boycott of CPM members. Now she talks about going to Alimuddin out of political desperation,” Yechury said. ( )

Mamata had last evening mooted the proposal with CPI veteran Gurudas Dasgupta who said today: “She told me to persuade the Left parties to bring a motion or support her party’s motion. I will inform my party tomorrow.’’

Mamata later posted on Facebook: “I will have no hesitation in voting for the no-confidence motion moved by them.”

Mamata said she was willing to talk to other parties, including the BJP, on issues like FDI in retail trade.

The BJP-led NDA today decided to bring a motion that entails voting against the decision on FDI in retail but kept open its options on a no-confidence motion.

Mamata sought to draw a distinction between ideology and national interest. “It is of no use, playing the BJP card…. If anyone wants to talk, they can talk. The BJP is a political party whose ideology we do not support. But this is not a religious issue. This is an issue which involves saving the country,” the chief minister said.

A Trinamul leader said Mamata was aware the CPM would not agree to her proposal but added that she wanted to send a message she was ready to rise above party politics “in order to save the country”.

But CPM leaders feel that finding herself in a spot, Mamata wants to pass the buck to the Left.