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 30B 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 this victory mean for you?
This is a second independence for Bengal, a historic victory. 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’s your message to allies?
We want to work with our allies. I call both Congress and Socialist Unity Centre of India to be part of the government.
Senior ministers as well as CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee lost.
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 life, a happy family and ideological life. I appeal for peace to everyone. We want to bring peace and development here.
Who will replace you as railway minister?
I think someone from our party will be made railway minister. We have only one minister in the Union Cabinet. The railway ministry should be given to us considering our sweeping victory in the Assembly polls.