Millennium Post

Regional parties together will get the magic number: Mamata

Kolkata: As a vitriol-filled campaign ended on Friday for the sixth and penultimate phase of the Lok Sabha polls to be held in 59 constituencies in six states and Delhi, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee in an exclusive interview to a vernacular channel said unlike the previous years, the Congress will not be able to ignore the regional parties in the current situation and they will collectively form the government at the Centre as the role of the latter has changed over the years.

With barbs flying thick and fast as leaders stooped to a new low indulging in unabashed personal attacks, Banerjee said: "Never in the past, a Prime Minister was heard using such filthy language. It is very unfortunate that we have such a PM."

Reiterating that the BJP will get anything between 140 and 160 seats, she said this will be nowhere near the magic figure of 273 which is required to form the government at the Centre. Regarding the role of Congress' track record since 1979 when on several occasions the party had lent support to the regional parties from outside and suddenly withdrawn it, Banerjee said things have changed over the past few years and now the regional parties are very strong.

"They will do well in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls and what had happened in the past would not be repeated," she added.

Banerjee alleged that the saffron party has destroyed all the institutions in the country. "Due to courtesy, we cannot comment on the Judiciary and have respect for such institutions. But it is unfortunate that the Election Commission of India has been working at the behest of the BJP. Recently, in Bankura, there was a problem over holding a meeting of the BJP which was addressed by Narendra Modi. You need a large space to accommodate three helicopters. Of the 170 owners of the land, only 17 had given permission to them to hold the meeting. The District Magistrate was helpless as it was private land. But the ECI threatened the DM of immediate suspension if he failed to arrange land for the rally. This is most unfortunate."

Banerjee slammed Modi for his arrogance and spreading canards against Bengal. "He is coming to Bengal to instigate the people. He is saying that no development has taken place in Bengal. The Centre has awarded Bengal the top position in the 100 days' work segment. The state got Krishi Karman award too from the Centre for five consecutive times. Modi is holding meetings with the officers in Delhi regularly just to brainwash them."

Commenting on his recent allegation that Banerjee did not meet him after cyclone Fani, she said: "Everybody knows I was in Kharagpur. He did not call me on my cell phone.

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