The Hindu, 26 Feb 2014, Guwahati: Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday called for defeating both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as she kicked off her party’s campaign for Lok Sabha polls in Assam. She also promised to scrap “The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013” if her party got decisive mandate to share power at the Centre.
Ms. Banerjee clarified, while addressing a party rally in Guwahati, that Trinamool Congress was a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government when it was headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee but her party would not support any party that incites communal violence and hatred on the basis of religion, caste, creed or community.
She alleged that both the Congress and the BJP had formed “a syndicate” over the issue Telangana and urged the voters in Assam not to give a single vote to the either of two parties. Ms. Banerjee accused the Congress party of “hoodwinking” the people with “false promises.” The West Bengal Chief Minister alleged twhile her State needed Rs.1,000 crore to provide jobs under MGNREGA the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre had released only Rs. 300 crore. She accused the Congress party to be “vindictive” and “destroying the country.”
Dwelling on the Land Acquisition Act, the Trinamool Congress chief said that her party position was that tribal people must have their rights over forest land as it was them who had been protecting the forests. She also threw her weight behind the movement of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti(KMSS) in Assam for land rights of the forest dwellers.
Ms. Banerjee asked noted Assamese actor Biju Phukan, who shared the dais with her and released a book titled “Parivartan”(meaning ‘change’ in Bengali) written by her, if he would agree to become Trinamool Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha elections. Mr. Phukan readily accepted the offer. The Trinamool Congress chief said other candidates of her party for Lok Sabha seats in Assam would be announced later.