Mamata woos Muslims before assembly poll in WB

Mamata woos Muslims before assembly poll in WB
Kolkata, Jan 30 (PTI) With assembly election in West Bengal barely four months away, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today sought to woo the Muslims with a promise to seriously consider reservation for them in jobs and education and assured them that the Hindutva agenda of BJP, party's electoral ally, would not find any place here.

"We don't support Babri Masjid demolition or the Gujarat riots. We are making it clear that the TC-led newly formed Paschimbanga Ganatantrik Front, of which BJP is a partner, will not work with any communal attitude. This is our commitment," Banerjee said while addressing a Trinamool Congress minority convention here.

Despite the presence of Shawnawaz Hussain, the former civil aviation minister in the NDA government, state BJP leaders were not present.

Assuring the minority community, she said, "here BJP's Hindutva agenda will not be implemented. The only issue here is to remove CPI-M from power. I hope that minorities will also support us." She alleged that the CPI(M) had played the communal card to win elections 'all these years', saying that the party had "used Gujarat riot victim Qutubuddin Ansari by bringing him here to derive political benefits, only to dump him later." Banerjee also referred to the massacre of 11 Muslims at Nanoor in Birbhum district in 2000. "CPI(M) takes recourse to divide and rule policy during elections on the basis of religion, although it is a fact that the Marxists have done nothing for the uplift of Muslims," she alleged.

Banerjee said for proving her credentials as a secular leader she did not require any certificate either from the CPI-M or other parties. She used the platform to renew her appeal to the Congress to join hands and put up a one-to-one contest against the CPI-M, though it (Congress) has made TC's quiting the NDA as a condition to be a part of the anti-CPI-M alliance.

"You (Congress) are living with the CPI(M) in Delhi, please don't do it in West Bengal," she said.

Making a fervant call to the people including minorities, she said, "defeat them (LF) who bluffed on the issue of development for all these years, and give us a chance for five years.

"If there was a change in Bihar, why cannot there be a change in Bengal?" she asked.

Former chief minister S S Ray, besides Trinamool leaders Sultan Ahmed and Muzaffar Khan were present.

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