Despite having been described — and even addressed in some quarters — as West Bengal’s chief minister-in-waiting, Trinamool Congress chief and railway minister Mamata Banerjee has decided not contest the 2011 assembly polls.
In 2001 and 2006 also, Banerjee did not contest the assembly polls. Stressing that “I shall continue to be the railway minister”, she said, “I will have to campaign for all the 294 seats. It will be difficult if I contest from any particular seat,” Banerjee said outside her south Kolkata residence before leaving for Delhi on Wednesday.
“There is a provision in the Constitution. I can get myself elected from any seat in six months after the party comes to power,” she said when media persons speculated whether she would opt out if her party formed the next government.
Party leaders later said it would become convenient for the rivals if Banerjee confined herself to a particular seat. The CPI (M), however, did not react. State CPI (M) secretary Biman Bose said it was “Trinamool’s internal matter”.