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'A second independence'

kolkata Updated: May 14, 2011 03:26 IST
Ravik Bhattacharya
Ravik Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Good governance and a focus on reconstruction were uppermost on the mind of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee as Hindustan Times met her at the gate of her 5 ft x 7 ft office at 30-B Harish Chatterjee Street.

Seemingly unaffected by the landslide victory and the frenzy outside the door, she laid out her agenda for governance.

What will be the new government’s priorities?
Our priority is good governance. Now we have to deliver. It is a difficult task since the CPI (M) left behind a mess. Our priority is development of all sections, be it minorities, scheduled castes and tribes, the youth or women. Now, we will have a democratic government and the people’s will would be the last word. Atrocities will stop.

What does this victory mean to you?
This is a second independence for Bengal. It has been like a freedom struggle. I express my gratitude to the people. This is the victory of Maa, Maati, Maanush [the Trinamool poll cry].

What is your message to your allies?
We want to work with our allies. I call both the Congress and the Socialist Unity Centre of India to be part of the government.

Senior ministers as well as chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee lost... http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/14_05_11_pg2a.jpg

The Left Front’s frontline ministers lost one by one. The people rejected them because of their false pride. They only know how to malign others. However, I wish them long and happy life.

Who will replace you as railway minister?
I think someone from our party will be made Union railway minister. We have only one minister in the Union Cabinet. The railway ministry should be given to us considering our sweeping victory. I will speak to the PM, who will take a decision in this regard.

How will you solve the Maoist problem, keeping in mind that people there have voted for you?

I will speak to home minister P Chidambaram to discuss the Maoist problem. I hope it will be solved through talks. People in the Maoist belts voted for us to restore democracy in their areas.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/14_05_11_pg02b.jpg