Five days after withdrawing support from the UPA government, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee told television channel CNN-IBN on Wednesday that a new front of regional parties could win the next Lok Sabha elections.
Though the elections are due in 2014, she said they could take place earlier as the government may fall within six months.
The Trinamool Congress chief said she would be happy to sit with other chief ministers to discuss the issue of a regional grouping ahead of the next general election.
“I believe states should be given more importance. Chief ministers of different states should sit together and decide. We will be happy to sit with other chief ministers even before the polls,” she said.
Training her guns at the Centre, Mamata targeted both the government for its alleged corruption and the Prime Minister himself, calling Manmohan Singh a man who has no connection with the grassroots. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is the only person about whom she refused to make any uncharitable remark, saying she wouldn’t do so because of their close personal relationship.
“Mayawati and Mulayam may bail them (the government) out for some time. The government has lost its credibility. It may last three months or fall in three months. It may last six months or fall in six months. It is stable only of the corruption and by the corruption,” she remarked.
“Money power, muscle power and mafia power are being used to stay in power,” she said, referring to the UPA government, adding that contrary to the Congress’s belief, the government is “not safe and sound”.
“Manmohan Singh is not a grassroots man. He is in the Rajya Sabha. Montek Singh (Ahluwalia) is also not a grassroots man,” she said, adding that the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail should have been taken after feedback from the grassroots.