The Telegraph
Friday , February 7 , 2014
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Left targets Mamata silence

New Delhi, Feb. 6: The CPM today drew attention to Mamata Banerjee’s silence on Narendra Modi’s overtures at Brigade and spoke of the possibility of Trinamul “working with” the BJP.

“The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate did not mince words and almost said vote for Trinamul in Bengal and for the BJP at the Centre. The chief minister (Mamata) has not spoken against it so far,” CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury said.

At the Brigade rally yesterday, Modi had said: “A change has happened in Bengal. In Delhi, you give me a chance.... Then, you will have laddoos in both hands.”

Yechury said today that Trinamul would have “no hiccups in working with the BJP” as the ruling party in Bengal had earlier associated itself with “communal forces”.

The CPM leader said that by rejoining the NDA government at the Centre after the 2002 riots in Gujarat, Mamata had “endorsed” the atrocity.

“Trinamul had left the NDA in 2001 and returned to the BJP-led alliance after the 2002 Gujarat riots. That clearly means you endorsed the Gujarat riots, because had you not, you would not have rejoined the NDA,” Yechury said.

Trinamul insiders had conceded after the Gujarat chief minister’s rally yesterday that if the Left succeeded in creating an impression that Mamata was open to doing business with Modi after the Lok Sabha elections, it could exact a price in the polls.

The Bengal CPM had yesterday said Modi’s silence on issues that could rankle with Mamata had lent credence to its assertion of a possible Trinamul-BJP alliance.

CPM leaders in Delhi said the party should use the contents of Modi’s speech to reach out to the minority community, which accounts for 28 per cent of the voters in Bengal.

By actively spearheading efforts to stitch a third front, the Left parties have cast a cloud on Mamata’s plans for a federal alliance.

Yechury today slammed Modi for saying the idea behind the proposed third front was to make India a “third-rate country”.

“Certain people are extremely disturbed by the bloc formed by 11 Left and secular parties. Such comments by somebody who aspires to become Prime Minister are truly appalling. Political discourse will be third rate under him,” Yechury said.