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Third front? No, CM barb

Howrah, March 7: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today focused on attacking Mamata Banerjee at a rally in Howrah, barely touching upon the third front that the central leadership is assiduously trying to stitch together.

“Whatever the chief minister is saying are false. Her claims are all lies. She is saying hospitals have been built, colleges have been set up and industry is progressing fast. All these are lies and lies,” the politburo member said at the CPM rally in Dumurjola.

The former chief minister appealed to the gathering to support the Left’s Lok Sabha poll candidates, saying this was the only way to counter Mamata’s “lies”.

“There is only one way you can answer the chief minister and her blatant lies. Vote for the Left candidates. The ballot box should be full of your answers to her frequent false claims,” Bhattacharjee said.

Referring to Mamata’s recent remarks at Nabanna that development work could be done properly and fast only if intelligence was applied, Bhattacharjee said nobody would want to borrow the chief minister’s brains.

Mukhyomantrir oi kharap buddhi ke nebe? Keu oi buddhi dhaar korbe na. Oi kubudhhi karor darkar nei (who will borrow the chief minister’s poor intelligence? Nobody will do so. Nobody needs such machinations),” he said.

Bhattacharjee also criticised the chief minister for the spate of festivals organised by her government. “Only jalshas are happening in this state. There’s no industry, no focus on agriculture, no employment generation. Nothing is happening. Public money is being squandered in the name of jalshas,” he said.

Referring to the proposed third front, Bhattacharjee urged people to support such a combine led by the Left. “Support neither the Congress, nor the BJP. A Left-led third front is the only option,” he said.

Criticising the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, Bhattacharjee said: “This man Modi is still carrying the stigma of the Gujarat riots. Don’t ever think of bringing this person to power.”

Bhattacharjee’s barbs at the Congress were equally sharp. “Keeping the Congress in power would mean the sell-out of banks, coal mines and the life insurance corporation,” he said.

A CPM source said Bhattacharjee focused on Mamata, not the proposed third front, because the party smelt a chance in Howrah.

“The BJP has fielded a candidate in Howrah for the Lok Sabha elections, unlike in the bypolls last year. It is going to be a four-way fight with three anti-Left parties in the fray. The anti-Left votes are bound to get split. Moreover, infighting is hurting Trinamul in Howrah. So, Buddhada must have thought it prudent to target Trinamul in Howrah,” he said.