Kolkata, Feb 14: "Foreign forces" have joined hands with opposition parties in West Bengal to overthrow the Left Front government, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee told a massive Left Front rally on Sunday.
Kicking off a virtual campaign for the Assembly polls due in three months, Bhattacharjee alleged that "foreign forces" along with the Congress, Trinamool Congress and Maoists had ganged up against his government. "Who is wanting 'parivartan' (change)? You should know a group of foreign forces are behind this move and are working with Congress, Trinamool Congress and Maoists. The BJP and
Jharkhand Party are also behind it," Bhattacherjee, a CPI-M politburo member told the rally at the sprawling Brigade Parade Ground. He said these foreign powers had worked before and are working now in different countries to see that red flags do not flutter any more. "They are afraid of red flags. We are
warning these foreign forces not to meddle into the affairs of our state." With the CPI-M and other Left partners pulling out all stops to convert the rally against price rise and other issues into a show of strength ahead of the crucial Assembly polls, all major roads in the city were clogged with supporters from
diferent parts of the city and other districts making their way to the Maidan since this morning.
He said that challenge was not only from a combined opposition of the Trinamool Congress and the Congress, but also from Maoists. "What is more worrisome is the Trinamool-Maoist nexus which is spreading to more districts. They are killing people and destablising the state's economy," Bhattacherjee
Evidently happy at the huge turnout, Bhattacharjee said there was no alternative to Leftism and the coming election would give the direction which way West Bengal would go -- towards anarchy or towards development of people.
He, however, cautioned party cadres against behaving arrogantly which, he observed, had led to resentment among people.
"I call upon them to correct themselves and go to the people and admit mistakes," Bhattacharjee said asking party supporters to fight to win the coming elections.
The Left Front, which has lost much electoral ground since the last panchayat elections in 2008 followed by the Lok
Sabha polls in 2009, pitched hard to show its pro-poor image with most leaders, including Bhattacharjee, devoting much of their speeches to claims of a lot of schemes for the poor. Admitting that his government had made "some mistakes",
Bhattacherjee said, "We are rectifying them. We will win the elections." Referring to the issue of industrialisation and land acquisition, he said his government wanted to set up industry in Singur and Nandigram.
"My government wants industry, but is keen to avoid trouble," he said without naming Trinamool Congress which spearheaded the Singur and Nandigram agitations.
Bhattacharjee also took a swipe at the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, saying it was mired in corruption and scams.
"Sky-high corruption has become the hallmark of the UPA government. We are fighting against such practises and will continue to do so. Congress is a party of the wealthy and is hardly bothered by the rising prices," Bhattacharjee said.
He said that the Congress, which is not taking steps against corruption and price rise is out to see that Left Front government is ousted from power. CPI-M state Secretary Biman Bose took a dig at the media for trying to link the dictatorial rule of ousted Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak with the Left Front rule suggesting it would also meet the same fate. "We extend our red salute to the people of Egypt for ending the dictatorial rule of Hosni Mubarak. But it is unfortunate that the West Bengal Left Front rule is also being connected with that in a section of the press. In West Bengal there is democracy and no dictatorial regime. So comparison does not arise," he observed.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee described the rally as the Left Front's 'farewell meeting' and said the 'corrupt' government was on its way out.
The rally was the left Front's last-ditch attempt to supply oxygen to a dying entity, Banerjee said and predicted, "This will prove to be a grand failure."
With the Left Front in West Bengal facing its toughest challenge in the upcoming Assembly elections, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee admitted that some CPI-M leaders were behaving "arrogantly", which had earned a bad name for his party.
Their behaviour with people had alienated some people ahead of the coming poll, he told the massive Left Front rally.
"I call upon them to correct themselves and go to the people to admit their mistakes," Bhattacharjee said.
"The next few months are crucial and we have to correct our mistakes. We cannot tolerate the tendency of a few leaders to boss over people and throw their weight around.
This is unacceptable. Go to the people, bow your heads and listen to their problems," he said. He also conceded that the government has committed
"some mistakes" during its tenure and assured the people that they were being rectified now. Criticising Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, he said,
"So many stones have been laid that it will be difficult to uproot all of them." He asked the youths not to expect employment from those proposed projects.
Bhattacherjee demanded that UPA government take steps to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks and make public details of the account holders.
"These ill-gotten money stashed in foreign banks should be brought back to India and details of the account holders must be made public," he told a Left Front rally here. The money belonged to people and it must be confiscated, he said.
Targetting Congress, he wondered what was preventing the party from taking action. "Why is Congress sitting tight over the issue? What they are afraid of?" he said.
"Black and white money are all in equal circulation. The country's money has been plundered and stashed in foreign banks," he said.
The Chief Minister ruled out division of the state and condemned violence in the hills by proponents of Gorkhaland. Without naming Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is agitating for establishing a separate state of Gorkhaland in the three sub-divisions of Darjeeling and adjoining Dooars and Terai,
the Chief Minister said: "Darjeeling is on fire, but we will not allow division of West Bengal.
"We will not bow to the acts of vandals who are damaging roads and setting vehicles on fire." Accusing Trinamool Congress of remaining silent on the
violent activities of the GJM, he said, "Trinamool Congress has found a new friend in GJM. It is keeping mum and is not saying anything with an eye on getting votes in areas where the GJM has support. It wants to have GJM as a poll ally." PTI