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Mamata looks back

india Updated: Jan 28, 2012 00:52 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee's political memoir Parivartan is expected to hit the stands soon. HT gives you a peek into the 190-page political memoir that chronicles her journey, betrayals and victories.

On Congress
The High Command puts the leash on anyone who is proactive... In 1991, when SS Ray was the state chief and I was one of the 11 members of the election committee, all the big shots were on one side and me alone on the other.

On expulsion from Congress
The news of my expulsion from the Congress reached during a press conference held to declare that the grassroots Congress workers would defy the official candidate list and fight on our own. I was stunned initially. But I didn't break down. I used to take my mother's blessings before taking every major decision. Even a few days ago, she had asked me not to quit the Congress. But that day she said, "If such is the response...you better not keep in touch with them."

On BJP (2001)
When they can afford, they will impose President's rule to conduct polls, and when they can't, they will not hesitate in weakening their allies... Not a single BJP leader turned up or offered me a cup of tea during my dharna at Jantar Mantar against division of the Railways, even though we were a part of NDA.

On Rajiv ji (gandhi)
He used to protect me like an elder brother. Till his last day, Rajivji had been like the grand old banyan tree, always protecting me. Even today, at every step I feel his presence. At times of crisis, my eyes turn, almost by default, to his picture on the wall. … and I see him smiling down at me and asking, "How are you? Koi gadbad to nahi?"

On Sonia
I was called to Delhi alone but I took Ajit Panja and Sudip Bandopadhyay along with me, so they could be witnesses to all that happened. The three of us went to meet the Rajmata (Sonia) on December 12 (1998).
Soniaji said, "I know you have not been treated well. But we must work together at the hour of elections." I said, "Why don't you take charge?" She replied, "I can't. I'm a foreigner."

Pranab da (Pranab Mukherjee)
"I've always stood by him...even when he had quit the Congress and formed the National Socialist Congress. I pleaded with Rajivji to bring him back to the Congress. But Pranabda misunderstood me. During the PCC presidential election in 1992, one day he openly scolded me...I was deeply pained."

(Published by Dey's Publishing, English translation by Snigdhendu Bhattacharya of HT)