Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee Sunday teamed up to woo the electorate in West Bengal for the Lok Saha polls.
The two leaders hopped from one venue to another in a helicopter, urging the people to install a stable Congress-led government at the centre. They lambasted the state's ruling Left Front for its alleged misrule over the last 32 years.
The rallies kickstarted the joint campaign after the recent Congress-Trinamool tie-up for the polls. Mukherjee and Banerjee are scheduled to address joint rallies in several other parts of the state till the completion of the three-phase elections in the state May 13.
However, Sunday's largely attended meetings covered constituencies going to the polls April 30.
The political heavyweights held their maiden rally at Balurghat, and then proceeded to Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling.
"This huge gathering indicates that people of our state want a political change. There could have been lot of developmental work in north Bengal. But the ruling Left Front has done nothing for the region. Tea garden workers are starving," Banerjee told a rally at Birpara in Alipurduar of Jalpaiguri district.
"There's no employment opportunity in the district so people are more and more moving out to other stats in search of jobs."
"We have formed an alliance with the target to oust the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led LF government from the state," she added.
Coming down heavily on the Leftists, Banerjee said: "CPI-M has failed to develop the state and now they are dreaming to come to power at the centre. People should reject them."
Mukherjee, India's external affairs minister, also criticised the CPI-M-led front for its "allround failure".
Detailing the successes of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Mukherjee said: "The central government has successfully implemented schemes for the betterment of common people in India."
He also ridiculed the newly formed Third Front in which the Left parties are playing a crucial role.