Kolkata: Averring that no one is "untouchable", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said her Trinamool Congress would consider and discuss the matter if a proposal for a tie-up came from her long-time foe CPI-M.
Congratulating Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar and the Congress for rallying together against the Bharatiya Janata Party in the recent Bihar by-polls, the Trinamool supremo said her party would think on similar lines if such a situation emerged (if the BJP gained in strength) in her state.
"I congratulate Laluji, Nitishi and the Congress for coming together. Had they done this before the Lok Sabha polls, they would have won the majority of the seats," she said referring to the by-elections where the combine picked up six of the 10 seats in Bihar.
"In our state, if the same situation develops we will think. Nobody is untouchable," Banerjee said.
She noted out that her party had joined hands with the Socialist Unity Centre of India and other small outfits in the past.
"If somebody comes forward to talk, we will talk. In democracy, one should never close the door on talks. In the modern world, one cannot close options. One has to consider which option is pro-people, pro-peace and pro-development."
Asked whether her party was prepared to join hands with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Banerjee said: "I have not said that. But if any such proposal comes, we will consider. We have to discuss it within my party."
She said she had no problem if somebody called her a leftist. "You can say that. I don't hate leftists. There is lot of good people among them. But instead of being branded a leftist or a rightist, I would rather like to be described as progressive, pro-development and pro-people."
The BJP has been going all out in extending its area of influence in the state to emerge as the main alternative to the ruling party ever since the Lok Sabha polls, where it bagged two seats.
However, Banerjee said she was "not at all" worried about the rise of the BJP. "They had won one Lok Sabha seat in 2009 also. This time they have got only one seat extra. And this one extra seat has made them arrogant."
Attacking the BJP, she alleged it was coming up with armed processions, instigating Maoists and trying to foment communal riots, "but we won't allow riots. We will prevent that with our blood, lives".
Refering to the past when her party had been part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government, Banerjee said: "I had joined them because of Atal Behari Vajpayee. I have worked under him.
"But now I find the BJP does not care for people like Atalji, L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. They have a new team. But what they are doing is nothing but political pollution."