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Sonia, Mamata urge voters to support Trinamool, Cong nominees

india Updated: Apr 27, 2009 17:47 IST

Addressing a meeting together for the first time in eight years, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked people of West Bengal to support nominees of their parties' alliance for the betterment of the country.

"I urge you to vote for the nominees of the Congress and Trinamool Congress since a Congress-led government at the Centre alone can provide a stable, strong and secular government," Gandhi told a joint election rally at this border town amidst cheers from workers of the two parties.

"After serious thinking, you should vote courageously and give your mandate in favour of Congress and Trinamool Congress candidates. I also hope you will overwhelmingly support both," Gandhi said.

The crowd cheered loudly when Gandhi appeared on the dais and asked Mamata Banerjee to sit beside her.

Banerjee said that the alliance would ensure defeat of the CPI(M)-led Left Front in the Lok Sabha elections, alleging "CPI(M) lies to the people and deny voting rights through means of terror".

She also alleged that power situation in the district was dismal .

"We are hopeful that the alliance will one day remove the CPI(M) from West Bengal, as this party has failed to tackle unemployment problem, women trafficking as also the problem of hunger," Banerjee alleged.

WBPCC chief Pranab Mukherjee alleged that Marxist terrorism existed in this Murshidabad district. "Party MP and district Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury has led the fight against Marxist terrorism," he said.

Mukherjee said that the erosion by the Padma along the 125-km stretch in the district had affected thousands of people. "CPI(M) has been propagating that the Centre is doing nothing to check erosion".

He said that the Centre allocated Rs 78 crore for checking erosion of the Padma and the Bhagirathi during the 10th plan period.

"Let the Front government furnish a list of their work in this area as also in other sectors," Mukherjee said.

Attacking the Left Front government for poor implementation of NREGA schemes, Mukherjee, who is also Union Finance Minister, said that while 80 per cent funds had been spent by Tamil Nadu and 75 per cent to 85 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, "very little work has been done in West Bengal under this scheme".

Mukherjee, seeking re-election from Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency, said that of the entire poor population in the country, 1.47 per cent live in Murshidabad district which is most backward.

"People should ask the state government to give a list of the beneficiaries of BPL cards," he said.