I don't have respect for Advani the politician: Mamata

Mamata Banerjee
Kolkata, Apr 21: Apparently stung by CPI-M's barbs against her for her days in the NDA, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee turned on senior BJP leader L K Advani saying she respected him but not as a political leader.

"I respect Advaniji for his age, but not as a political leader. I don't support his role in the Babri Masjid issue," Banerjee said.

"He is campaigning in Mayureswar, Nakasipara, Sandeshkhali and Jorasanko where Trinamool Congress has bright prospects of winning. The BJP's attempt is to help CPI-M by dividing anti-Left votes," she alleged.

Clarifying that she had not been in the BJP, but on the NDA ''to save Bengal'', Banerjee said she had been thrown out of Congress, which had an understanding with the CPI-M at the time and hers was a new party then.

"BJP does not represent the Hindus," she said.

But Advani did not react.

"I heard it when I was coming, but I have nothing to say," he told an election meeting here for BJP candidate Mina Purohit.

Advani said that the days of the Left Front government were numbered.

"This time the elections will bring ''paribartan'' (change) in West Bengal, but decide on a clean government. Not the Congress, CPI(M) or the others," he told voters.

Noting that the Communist government here has not been able to do anything for the people in 34-years of rule, he said "had we ruled for 34 years, we would have changed the hue and colour of the state. See what Narendra Modi has achieved in Gujarat and Bihar has done in five years".

Though Advani chose not to utter a word against Banerjee, others including the party's All India General Secretary Kiran Maheswari and candidate Purohit criticised Banerjee for switching from NDA to the UPA saying she wanted to stay on in power.


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