| Mamata Banerjee |
Guwahati, Feb. 26: After disappointing Assam in the railway budget, Trinamul Congress supremo and railway minister Mamata Banerjee will visit the state soon to seek votes against the Congress, its ally at the Centre.
The party today declared that it would field candidates in at least 110 constituencies for the Assam Assembly elections, likely to be held in April.
The minister will address at least seven meetings to campaign for her party’s candidates who will be pitched against heavyweight leaders of the Congress, the BJP, the AGP, the AIUDF and others in the state.
The party’s state unit president, Debeswar Bora, today admitted that the railway budget had showered sops on poll-bound West Bengal and that they had expected more for Assam, which is also poll-bound.
“Two new trains were announced for Assam in the budget but we had demanded at least four new trains here. We are also demanding 100 per cent reservation for local candidates in the recruitment of C and D category posts of railway. It is true that the new budget was a little oriented towards election in West Bengal,” Bora said.
“Lalu Prasad focused more on Bihar when he was the railway minister and so probably West Bengal got more importance this time. But railways cannot be the only issue for election in Assam. We will try to fight the election on other developmental issues,” he said.
On being asked why should people in Assam vote for the Trinamul when the railway budget offered so little to the state, he said, “Railway budget is collectively prepared by the Centre.”
Bora, an ex-Congress MLA who recently became the Trinamul state president, said the party would highlight the largescale corruption of Congress and its ally, the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), in the state. “The Congress was involved in massive corruption during its last 10 years in power and we will fight against it,” he added.
Bora said Mamata’s visit to the state to campaign for the election would be her first after becoming the railway minister.
The Barak Valley Student Association today burnt the minister’s effigy in Silchar in protest against the non-fulfilment of their demands.