Out on his first campaign in the 2011 Assembly election in West Bengal, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat on Tuesday ridiculed Trinamool Congress's slogan of "change" in the state.
Such a change will eventually push West Bengal on the path of corruption and inflation, he said.
"Trinamool, along with its ally Congress, called for a change before the 2009 Lok Sabha election, following which they formed the government at the Centre jointly. What followed was rising inflation because of anti-people policies of the Union government and endless cases of corruption and scams. Is Trinamool is looking for that kind of change in West Bengal too?" said Karat.
He was addressing a public meeting at Muslim-dominated Metiabruz constituency in South 24-Parganas district, with the CPI(M) candidate Badruddoja Mollah sitting next to him.
Karat attacked Trinamool, describing the party as a silent supporter of the anti-people policies and corruption by the Union government. "At the Centre, Trinamool is Congress's B-team and here in West Bengal Congress is Trinamool's B-team," he said.
With regard to Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, Karat said, "She is a minister in Bengal and a deaf doll in Delhi."
Ridiculing Banerjee for her earlier alliance with BJP, the CPI(M) general secretary said the Trinamool chief facilitated BJP's entry in West Bengal.
"She can do anything to gain power. In 2001, she left the BJP and joined hands with Congress to capture power in West Bengal. When her dream was dashed, she again went back to BJP. And now she has joined hands with Congress with the same aim," Karat said.
On the contrary, Karat claimed, the Left leaders have no corruption records. "In Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal, the Left are in power. None of these ruling leaders of these states have any record of corruption," he said.
Speaking in a minority-dominated locality, Karat emphasised the steps undertaken by West Bengal government in the area of minority development.
"When we understood that the Union government will not take any step for minority development, West Bengal government took initiative in reserving 10% of state government jobs for Muslims under OBC quota. At the same time, initiatives are on to enable all-round progress of the community," he said.
Karat's plan to kick off his campaign from a minority-dominated constituency is significant as this section of the population is reckoned to have substantially parted ways with the Left in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Though the swing has never been quantified, the swing away of the minorities had resulted in a slide that ended with Left winning only 16 seats in 2009.